Das Erdbeben in Agram am 9. November 1880. [The Earthquake in Zagreb On November 9, 1880.]. Ivan Standl.
Das Erdbeben in Agram am 9. November 1880. [The Earthquake in Zagreb On November 9, 1880.]
Das Erdbeben in Agram am 9. November 1880. [The Earthquake in Zagreb On November 9, 1880.]
Das Erdbeben in Agram am 9. November 1880. [The Earthquake in Zagreb On November 9, 1880.]
Das Erdbeben in Agram am 9. November 1880. [The Earthquake in Zagreb On November 9, 1880.]
Das Erdbeben in Agram am 9. November 1880. [The Earthquake in Zagreb On November 9, 1880.]
Photo Album of the 1888 Earthquake in Zagreb

Das Erdbeben in Agram am 9. November 1880. [The Earthquake in Zagreb On November 9, 1880.]

[Zagreb]: [Ivan Standl], [1880–1881]. Photographic album with 25 original, vintage black and white photographs, mounted on cardboard leaves. Each leaf bears Standl’s embossed seal, the images otherwise unlabelled. In original leather binding with gilt ruling at edges. Spine gilt with raised bands. Front panel with ornate metal corner pieces, bimetal title plaque, clasp. Edges gilt. Moire endpapers. Binding slightly rubbed. Light foxing on the cardboard leaves throughout, no effect on the images. Images clean and sharp. Overall in fine condition.

Contemporary album with 25 photographic images showing the destruction of the 1880 Zagreb earthquake.

A 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Zagreb on November 9, 1880. Although only one person was killed, the earthquake barely left any building in the city undamaged. The Department of Physics and Natural Sciences of Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts commissioned Ivan Standl to document the destruction of the catastrophe.

Ivan Standl (1832–1897) was a Czech-born pioneer professional photographer in Zagreb, known mostly for his documentary work of the natural and cultural heritage of Croatia as the author of the first Croatian photobook, “Fotografijske slike iz Dalmacije, Hrvatske i Slavonije” (Photographic images from Dalmatia, Croatia and Slavonia; 1870), and for documenting the aftermath of the 1880 Zagreb earthquake.

What makes his work unique, is that Standl was focusing on the scientific characteristics of the disaster. With his images, especially those of peripheral urban sites, he demonstrated the force of the earthquake and also showed the direction of the impact, unlike other photographers (Otto Dasch, Hinko Krapek, Gjuro Varga, Hermann Fickert) whose images were to illustrate magazines or newspaper articles, and showed exclusively important historical buildings and sites of the city.

The size of the photos is identical (19.4 x 13.7 cm), and all were horizontally positioned, except for the interior of St Catherine’s Church, the church in Stenjevec and the Zagreb Synagogue (no. 5., 7., 15. in this album), which were shown in the vertical format. These photos are also known as the first photographic representation of architectural interiors in the history of Croatian photography, and according to contemporary newspaper reports during photo sessions the indoors were illuminated by electrical or magnesium lights.

An important piece in history of photography. A very early example of earthquake photographs, the second in Europe after Naples in 1865.

[Bibl.: Damjanović, Dragan: Photo Albums of the 1880 Zagreb Earthquake. In: VisibileInvisibile. Percepire la città tra descrizioni e omissioni. Catania: Schrimm, 2014. pp. 1833–1845.]

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Price: €7,000.00