About History – The Photography of Dmitri Ermakov

Dmitry Ermakov

Dmitri Ivanovich Ermakov was born in Tiflis (the old name for Tbilisi) in Georgia in 1846. After graduating from the military topographic academy in Ananuri he opened his own photographic studio in Tiflis and by the end of the 1870s he was a renowned photographer, winning awards in many exhibitions in Moscow, Italy, Turkey and Persia.

Ermakov’s passion was ethnographic photography and he visited many remote parts of the Caucasus, Central Asia and Anatolia where he was the first to take photos of the inhabitants of villages of different nationalities.

Men from the Georgian mountains

After the death of Ermakov in 1916 his huge photographic collection was purchased by the University of Tiflis, and later passed to the Tbilisi State Museum. Very few of Ermakov’s pictures have been published but the ones that have include several studies of life in Tiflis (Tbilisi).

Narikala around 1860

The bridge over the Kura River

Floating water mills on the Kura River

A Russian customer buying carpets from a Persian merchant in the Bazaar

A fishmonger in Tiflis

Bread stall in Tiflis

A knife smith and a customer from the mountains

Metal worker

Hat Shop

Over the years, Ermakov published a hundred and ninety two albums of his photos of the ethnic groups, villages and towns, roads and monuments of the Caucasus. In a catalog printed at the turn of the century he advertised a photo stock of 25 thousand items.

Once Ermakov’s entire collection is made public it will be an incredible archive for research.

Sources: Rolf Gross (an excellent collection of Ermakov photographs) and Dr. Tamas Sajo (web blog with a biography of Ermakov, together with photographs).

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Dmitri Ivanovich Ermakov

11 Responses to “About History – The Photography of Dmitri Ermakov”
  1. rumpydog says:

    What fascinating photos!

  2. dogdaz says:

    How interesting. Photos are such a history in pictures. Thanks for sharing the experience and sites.

  3. sorrygnat says:

    Amazing country

  4. Mag (Chancy's Mumsy) says:

    What treasures these beautiful pictures are. Thank you for sharing them. Hugs

  5. I love looking at old photos. They’re so interesting 🙂

  6. tbnranch says:

    Fascinating! Thanks.

  7. What a interesting bunch of pictures!!! Love the one with the ruins of the castle around 1860… amazing!

  8. 2browndawgs says:

    Those are wonderful photos.

  9. paris1944 says:

    Is there english language literature about photography in Tiflis 1860-1925 ?

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