Basile Kargopoulo

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Basile Kargopoulo or Vassilaki (Vasili) Kargopulo (1826–1886) was an Ottoman Greek photographer.


Kargopoulo opened his studio on Grand’ Rue de Péra in the Ottoman capital Istanbul in 1850, and opened a second studio in partnership with E. Foscolo in the city of Edirne, then a major army base. Kargopoulo was particularly renowned for his panoramas of Istanbul, scenes of the city and the Bosphorus, and photographs of royal palaces. He kept a large wardrobe of costumes in his studio for young men who wanted to dress up for their photographs. He became well known for his series of Istanbul types, including fishermen, greengrocers, and street vendors, such as simit (bagel) and sherbet sellers, sold as mounted 6 × 9 cm prints. Today these photographs are important documents recording life in 19th century Istanbul. Kargopoulo was appointed royal photographer to Sultan Abdulmecid (1823–1861, r. 1839–1861), and was private photographer to Sultan Murad V (1840–1904, r. 1876) When Sultan Abdülhamid II (1842–1918 r. 1876–1909) came to the throne, Kargopoulo’s appointment as royal photographer was rescinded because he did not take down the photograph of Murad V on his studio wall, but shortly later, he was reinstated [1].


  • Views of Constantinople and surroundings, albumen print, c. 1870