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J. Pascal Sebah(Istanbul1823 - Istanbul1886)

J. Pascal Sebah was a Turkish photographer, born in Istanbul to a Syrian Catholic father and an Armenian mother. In 1857 he opened his first photography studio in Istanbul and by 1873 was successful enough to open another studio in Cairo. His genre scenes, views, and archaeological studies of the Middle East, especially Egypt, but also Palestine and Mesopotamia, were widely distributed from the 1870s. Made using the wet-plate process, they appear in various formats, from cartes de visite to panoramas. At some stage he went into partnership with another photographer, Jollier (or Joaillier), and, as with many contemporaries, it is uncertain how many of the photographs issued by the firm were actually taken by Sébah. In 1899, the acquisition of Abdullah Frères' stock compounded the problem of attribution. In 1873 Sébah was commissioned by the Turkish painter Osman Hamdy Bey (1842-1910) to make a series of studio costume studies of people from different regions and social classes for an Ottoman album to be shown at the Vienna International Exhibition. After he died in 1886, the studio was managed by his brother Cosmi until Pascal's son, Jean, joined him in 1888.


J. Pascal Sebah is represented in the following collections, among others: Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Musée d'Orsay, Paris; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Courtauld Institute of Art, London.