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The Photography of Felice Beato

It’s hard for me to imagine, in the age of instant information, what it would be like to see one of Felice Beato’s photographs in 1850s and 60s. The images he captured in the Mediterranean, Japan, China (where he was the first photographer, ever), India, Burma and the Crimea would have been the first glimpse of these places and people that many outsiders had ever had. An Italian-born Brit, Beato traveled extensively in Asia, photographing the cultures he found there and acting as one of the first war photographers and photojournalists. The respect with which he documents the people he met is clear in his work, and it’s fascinating to see the world as it was over 150 years ago. I love the samurai photography and his work from his years in Japan especially (1863-1877); before the world had entered its most destructive years, you can see how ancient a place it was, people living in and around the foundations of their culture, thousands of years old. Men hadn’t yet decided that the toils of their forebears were to be casualties of war. I’ve compiled a gallery of Felice Beato’s photography…step back a century and a half below…

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Burmese Lady - Full Length Studio Portrait 1895

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Garden at Omia by Felice Beato

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Source: http://hearstmuseum.berkeley.edu/exhibitions/photo/beato.html

Written By

Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation.

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