Abdullah Frères

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Trademark of the Abdullah Brothers. Note the tughra, indicating imperial patronage

The Abdullah Frères (French for "Abdullah Brothers"; Turkish: Abdullah Biraderler) were a group of three Ottoman brothers of Armenian descent, Viçen Abdullahyan (1820–1902), Hovsep Abdullahyan (1830–1908), and Kevork Abdullahyan (1839–1918), photographers of international fame during the late Ottoman Empire.[1] They took pictures of scenic views and notable individuals, including sultans. Most of their photography was taken in the Ottoman Empire.

Viçen (later known as Abdullah Şükrü after converting to Islam) began his photographic career touching up photos for Rabach, who opened his photography studio in 1856 in the Bayezid district of Constantinople. In 1858, when Viçen's younger brother Kevork returned from his studies at the Murad Raphaelian Armenian Academy in Venice, they and another brother, Hovsep, decided to take over Rabach's photography studio and open their own, called the Abdullah Frères.[1] In 1867, they sold their shop in Beyazid and moved to a more favorable location in Pera.[2] The Abdullah Frères subsequently were among the most famous photographers in the Ottoman Empire.[2] In 1863, Sultan Abdulaziz declared the Abdullah Frères as the official court photographers and Outstanding Artists of the City, an epithet they used until the closure of the shop in 1899.[1][2] In 1886, at the request of the Khedive in Egypt, they opened a branch in Cairo, Egypt.[1]

Over their lengthy career, the Abdullah Frères photographed numerous Ottoman sultans, Ottoman statesmen such as Ibrahim Edhem Pasha and Osman Nuri Pasha, international figures such as Mark Twain, scenic views, and more.



  1. ^ a b c d Hannavy, John (2008). Encyclopedia of nineteenth-century photography. New York: Routledge. ISBN 9780415972352. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Shaw, Wendy M.K. (2003). Possessors and possessed : museums, archaeology, and the visualization of history in the late Ottoman Empire. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press. p. 141. ISBN 9780520233355. Retrieved 6 December 2012.

External links[edit]