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  Ludwig Angerer, photographer

Born in Malaczka, Hungary (now Malacky, Slovakia) on August 15, 1827, Ludwig Angerer originally worked as a pharmacist in the Imperial Pharmacy before joining the Austrian army as a military pharmacist on March 13, 1854. During his service, Mr. Angerer was introduced to photography, which quickly became his most treasured pastime. Within the next two years, while traveling throughout Bucharest with the Austrian occupation forces, the self-appointed roving photographer made photographs of the city buildings as they had stood for centuries. His images reveal 'old Bucharest', which was significantly transformed by massive late-nineteenth century redevelopment efforts that resulted in the demolition of several historic buildings. When not working at an army field hospital, Mr. Angerer captured street scenes in Wallachia, photographed the Coltea Tower (demolished in 1888) and scaled Dealul Spirii (Spirea Hill) and the Metropolitan Bell Tower to take breathtaking panoramic views of the city.

In March 1857, the Austrian army retreated, and Mr. Angerer resigned from his military position and his career as a pharmacist. He settled in Vienna, where within a year he opened a photographic studio. He created the city's first cartes-de-visite, and quickly distinguished himself as Vienna's most accomplished portraitist. On December 24, 1860, Mr. Angerer was named official photographer of the Viennese Imperial Court, and was the first person to photograph Emperor Franz Joseph and his family. In addition to his royal duties, Mr. Angerer forged a lucrative cabinet card business. In 1864, his membership in the Photographic Society of Vienna's executive committee resulted in an introduction to Anton Friedrich, manager of Vienna's Voigtlander's lens manufacturing plant. This led to Mr. Angerer purchasing its huge 8" Petzval portrait lens, which he further customized to create large format portraits. His lens variation was exhibited the next year at the Berlin International Photographic Exhibition, which was described by one publication as "highly successful and vigorous without retouching, but, unfortunately, they were not as much appreciated as the difficulty of their production made them deserve." These massive lenses weighed more than 30 pounds themselves, which forced Mr. Angerer to design a specially reinforced tripod that could withstand the weight of camera and lenses, fitted with gears to raise and lower the camera as required. While a novelty for their time, this triumvirate was not in high demand, as the camera, lens, and tripod often exceeded 200 pounds.

Ever the innovator, Mr. Angerer was also a strong proponent of blue-ray lighting, and installed a blue skylight into his studio because he became firmly convinced this shortened plate exposure time without sacrificing portrait detail. He partnered with his younger brother Viktor in 1872, which necessitated a name change to L & V Angerer. Sadly, after a year, the senior Angerer's declining health forced him into retirement, leaving Viktor to continue solo studio operations. Ludwig Angerer died in Vienna on May 12, 1879, but his studio continued to live on and prosper for many years, which included a brief dry plate factory collaboration between Viktor Angerer and fellow Viennese photographer Josef Szekely. The L & V Angerer studio ceased operations permanently in 1914. The National Portrait Gallery in London currently holds more than 20 of Ludwig Angerer's most famous photographs.

2017 1867> Ludwig Angerer, Wiene (URL:

2007 Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography, Vol. I (New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group LLC), pp. 39-40.

2017 Kaiser Franz Joseph (URL:

2017 Ludwig Angerer (URL:

2013 Nineteenth-century Photographs and Architecture edited by Micheline Nilsen (Surrey, England: Ashgate Publishing Limited), p. 218.

2017 Old Pictures of Bucharest: Stavropoleos Church around 1856, Bucharest, Photo Ludwig Angerer (URL:

1878 The Photographic News, Vol. XXIII (London: Piper and Carter), p. 313.

2015 Some Works of Ludwig Angerer (URL:

2015 Stealing Sisi's Star by Jennifer Bowers Bahney (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc.), p. 74.

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2018-03-27 18:19:56

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