Lisbon and its Region
Stereoscopic Photography, C. 1853-1890
This paper concerns the use of steroscopic photography in Lisbon and its region, especially in Sintra, from the 1850s to the end of the 1880s. We will synthetically address the documents and images generated by professional and amateur photographers, their context and their themes.
The first material about stereoscopic photography, the first stereoscopic images and the first imported stereoscopes arrived in Lisbon in the 1850s through photographers, most of them foreigners, who brought them for their local use. A very small number of professionals took stereoscopic portraits in studios. As of the late 1850s, some professionals and trained amateurs used this technique and portrayed the city and its region. At the end of that decade and the beginning of the next, stereoscopic photos were sold in photographic studios and in a specialised warehouse. Already in the 1850s, but mainly after the late 1860s, Parisian photographers and editors of stereoscopic photos also occasionally produced and sold images of Portugal, including Lisbon, and had them listed in their catalogues. In the 1860s and 1870s, stereoscopic photos were exhibited in shows, according to contemporary descriptions, although their precise technical nature was not always very clear. The occasional production and commercialisation of stereoscopic images continued into the 1870s and declined sharply in the 1880s. It was only at the end of the next decade, and above all during the start of the 20th century, would stereoscopic photography regain the interest of professionals and amateurs.