James Robertson and Felice Beato, Panorama of Constantinople
Five-plate panorama of Constantinople from Beyazid Tower. Circa 1857. 5 albumen prints mounted together as a panorama. Each print circa 23 x 30 cm, entire size circa 23 x 149 cm. Fourth plate signed Robertson & Beato photog. in the negative in lower edge, linen backed.
James Robertson and his future brother-in-law Felice Beato began photographing together in Constantinople in 1853. This extraordinary view of Constantinople was taken from the Beyazid Tower, one of the highest vantage points of the city, and is believed to be the earliest panorama of the city known to have survived. Robertson lived in Istanbul for many years and knew it well, thus enabling him to convey an "insider's" view of the city as compared to ordinary "travel" photographers just passing through. A rare and well-preserved early panorama. – Some vertical creases, especially in fifth print on the right and first and second at the left and right sides, some wear around fold areas, otherwise strong prints with good contrasts and in very good condition.
Lit.: Bahattin Öztuncay. The Photographers of Constantinople. Pioneers, studios and artists from 19th century Istanbul. Istanbul 2006 (2nd edition).