The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Algerian men

Algerian men

Photographed by C. Portier of 9, rue Napoléon, Algiers.

The following forms a part of the biography given for Portier in Ken Jacobson’s Odalisques and Arabesques: Orientalist Photography 1839-1925 (Quaritch, 2007):

’[Claude-Joseph] Portier established a successful studio in Algiers from the early 1860’s. He was first listed as a member of the SFP in their list of 1864. From his advertisements, we know he provided every conceivable service in the domain of photography, from cartes-de-visite, cabinet cards, stereoscopic views, portraiture, apparatus, distilled water, paper and glass-products, lessons for amateurs and large format views of both local people and places.

’The contemporary writer on Algiers, Charles Desprez, speaks, in 1865, of Portier as the latest arrival on the Algiers photography scene but one who is rapidly catching up with established galleries (like Alery & Geiser, Weil, Clavier and Richan). By 1866, Desprez calls him “our young Algerian” whom he deems to be “a veritable artist” and one among the best of the photographic studios in Algiers. By the 1880’s, like some of the other photography galleries in Algiers, it seems that Portier’s studio, according to Desprez, sometimes doubled as a venue for exhibitions of paintings of various quality and style.’


Code: 123904
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© Paul Frecker 2018