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- Author Ignacy Krieger
- Date of production 1875–1880
- Place of creation Kraków, Poland
- Dimensions height: visit format, photo: 9.3 x 5.8 cm, cardboard: 10.8 x 6.5 cm
- Author's designation the lithographic inscription I. KRIEGER on the right
- ID no. MHF 12502/II
- Object copyright The Walery Rzewuski History of Photography Museum in Kraków
- Digital images copyright public domain
- Digitalisation The Walery Rzewuski History of Photography Museum in Kraków
The photograph shows two boys in Kraków costumes. The photo is exceptional since it presents genuine Kraków costumes from the 1860–1880 period. On the left you can see a boy turned ¾ to the left. He is wearing a light russet coat and a Kraków four-cornered hat and is holding an Easter palm in his right hand propped against the ground. The other boy, taller and clad in a similar russet coat and a hat with feathers, is standing behind the boy with his hand on his shoulder.more
The photograph shows two boys in Kraków costumes. The photo is exceptional since it presents genuine Kraków costumes from the 1860–1880 period. On the left you can see a boy turned ¾ to the left. He is wearing a light russet coat and a Kraków four-cornered hat and is holding an Easter palm in his right hand propped against the ground. The other boy, taller and clad in a similar russet coat and a hat with feathers, is standing behind the boy with his hand on his shoulder. Both of them are wearing high boots, the boys have their hands in their coat pockets. The right lower side of the picture features an inscription reading “123,” probably the number of the photography portrait series with scenes featuring Kraków costumes.
The picture was produced with the albumen technique based on simple reagents such as albumen, silver nitrate, and table salt. Invented in 1851 and popularised by Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard, it was the first common method of making paper prints out of negatives. Later, Krieger worked with collodion as well as with the bromide and gelatine processes.
The toned and coloured (the red edging of the russet coats) black and white photograph is glued onto a white cardboard with a red frame over the lower margin and the inscription “I. Krieger.” The piece features a red lithographic vignette on the back, an overprint featuring an architectural decorative motif with an inscription in the middle of it: “I. Krieger / Photographer in Kraków / at the Main Market Square at ul. / św. Jana in / the corner house no. 37,” the inscription “Copyrights reserved” in the lower part.
Ignacy Krieger’s models were, in this case, real Kraków inhabitants. The collection from the History of Photography Museum has many other folk photographs, including a portrait of a coachman (MHF 1203/II). The museum’s collections also boast photographs of bourgeois and gentry children, photographed in Kraków and highland costumes, common practice in the late 19th century.
The value of the photographs in question stems from the fact that they were taken by Ignacy Krieger (1817 or 1820–17/06/1889 in Kraków), a Kraków photographer who took numerous photographs of the city, its monuments and inhabitants. He travelled abroad to improve his skills. He made portraits and photographs of an ethnographic nature, photographs of newly completed Krakow buildings, including photographs of the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre and the Adam Mickiewicz Monument — a part of the collection from the History of Photography Museum and showed as part of its permanent exhibition. Ignacy Krieger was buried at a new Jewish cemetery. His children, Natan and Amalia, were photographers, too. Ignacy Krieger’s oeuvre is kept at the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków. It is composed of about 9000 films with photographs by Ignacy, Natan and Amalia. Unfortunately, the studio equipment has dispersed.
Elaborated by the Walery Rzewuski History of Photography Museum in Kraków, © all rights reserved