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Chiado Museum receives less known photographs of Carlos Relvas

Less known photographs of the amateur photographer Carlos Relvas (1838-1894), which reveal new facets of fundamental issues of Portuguese photography of eight hundred, will be on display today, at the Chiado Museum in Lisbon.

According to the National Museum of Contemporary Art – Chiado Museum, the exhibition – with about 300 images distributed by ten nuclei – is inaugurated at 7:00 p.m., and is open to the public from Thursday to January 2019.

Entitled ‘Carlos Relvas (1838-1894). Unpublished views of Portugal. Photography in the European Halls’, the exhibition curated by Victor Flores, Ana David Mendes, Denis Pellerin and Emília Tavares.

Considered one of the most recognized amateur photographers in the history of Portuguese photography in the 19th century, Carlos Relvas still has much to discover, according to the researchers.

This exhibition was based on a research project (CICANT – Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias) dedicated to the study of the stereoscopic photography of Carlos Relvas, and to the importance of his first years of activity as a photographer, between 1862 and 1874, one of the periods less known to the author.

For his study, “it was decisive to cross the images of Casa-Estudio Carlos Relvas archive with the collections of five institutions and several individuals, revealing a considerable and unprecedented set of original evidence in albumin,” points out the Museu do Chiado in about the exhibition.

This survey allowed the rediscovery of portraits and views of Portugal, which ‘witness a rigorous practice of different techniques, genres and photographic formats, giving a broader and more dynamic configuration’ to the first period of the photographic work of Carlos Relvas.

Organized in ten main centers, the exhibition highlights the first presence of Carlos Relvas in the exhibition of the Promoting Society of Fine Arts in 1868 and its internationalization, with the participation in the exhibitions of some of the main European photographic salons, such as the reputed Société Française of Photographie, the Universal Exposition of Vienna and the National Exhibition of Madrid.

From his work of this period, ‘it is possible to deepen and reveal new facets of some of the fundamental questions of Portuguese photography of eight hundred.’

Carlos Relvas began by photographing what was close and familiar to him. The predominant themes in the first period of his photographic activity were his family, Golegã and his first studio.

The relations of complicity of Carlos Relvas with some of the most important painters of this period, allowed to delineate, for the first time, the nature of the dialogue between the photography and the painting of the Portuguese XIX century.

This is the result of the investigation of an author and an era, with the support of the Chiado Museum, in the production and dissemination of unpublished projects for the knowledge of the history of photography in Portugal.

The exhibition has ten nuclei: ‘Photography and Heritage’, ‘Photography and Fine Arts’, ‘The European Photography Salons’, ‘The First Photographs’, ‘In the Dark Chamber’, ‘The Stereoscopic Series and the Landscape’ Atelier Relvas – A Reconstitution ‘,’ Redeemed Images’ and ‘The Studio House’ and ‘New Techniques’.

It also includes diverse documentation – photography albums, periodical photographic publications – photographic material, and studio material, as well as ten paintings created by.

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