(6th August 1839 – 12th August 1911)
COUNTRY : Japan
Of Austrian roots, Baron Raimund Von Stillfried was known as Baron Raimund Von Stillfried-Rathenitz. After a career in the army, Stillfried moved to Yokohama and in 1875 opened a photography studio, Stillfried & Co. The same year, he went into partnership with Hermann Andersen and the studio was renamed Stillfried & Andersen. Shortly afterwards they bought out Felice Beato’s photographic collection. From then on it was known as the Japan Photographic Association. During this period, photography had still not carved its place as an art. The choice of techniques was limited and photographers were obliged to turn to certain aesthetical choices. Thus, they surrounded themselves with artists who added colour to the photographs. Stillfried considered himself as a photographer-painter the approach of which was comparable to painting and which had a distinctive character to it. The subjects treated and the places depicted, often borrowed from the masters of print, gave an image of an unchanging country in spite of the fact that in 1868 the archipelago encountered great upheavals associated with the Meiji period. This discrepancy is explained by the public for whom the photographs are intended: foreign tourists benefiting from the opening-up of the country. Parallel to this activity, Baron Raimund Von Stillfried trained new Japanese photographers including Kusakabe Kimbei, whom he considered his spiritual son. In 1886, he sold most of his photographic collection to Kusakabe Kimbei before leaving Japan.
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