Stereoscopy in Nineteenth Century Brazil: the case of Rio de Janeiro
This study presents a preliminary systematisation of the stereographs that are part of the public collections of Rio de Janeiro. We start with an investigation of the presence of optical devices in nineteenth century Brazil, especially in the city of Rio de Janeiro, examining both users and diffusers, as well as the forms of observation and social contexts of their use. Our original research was based on the studies of the first cinema, especially the work of Tom Gunning and Charles Musser, and on art history by Jonathan Crary, authors who helped us analyse, respectively, the re-contextualization process regarding the use of optical devices and the resizing of the observer of modernity. Our empirical work was based on the systematic study of advertisements published in the newspapers of the period in question, especially in the Jornal do Commercio, between the 1850s and the 1870s. We conducted a survey of the establishments that imported and marketed these devices during the period, using advertisements published in Almanak Laemmert, between the years 1844 and 1889. We place a special emphasis on the arrival of photography in Brazil and to the precocity with which stereoscopy was developed here by the photographer Revert Henrique Klumb. We mapped themes as a reference for Brazilian visuality, and made an inventory of the Brazilian photographers who developed this technique in their works. From the information gathered, we answered research questions about the presence of optical devices in the city of Rio de Janeiro in the nineteenth century, especially stereoscopy considering its particularities in the historical, economic and social context of the time.
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