Biography: 19th Century Portrait photographer Alberto Henschel

Biography: 19th Century Portrait photographer Alberto Henschel


Alberto Henschel (1827 – 1882) was a German-Brazilian photographer born in Berlin. Considered the hardest-working photographer and businessman in 19th-century Brazil, with offices in Pernambuco, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo.

Henschel was considered the hardest-working photographer and businessman in 19th-century Brazil. He always remained up-to-date with the latest techniques on the photography market. By the time the aesthetic format of photography carte de visite became popular, Henschel was already dominating this technique which he used frequently in his establishments.

His studios possessed the latest equipment appropriate for the instantaneous portraits of children who, never still, were the headaches of the photographers.

The new process referred to in the announcement was the use of dry slabs of transparent gelatin, used as an adhesive layer for the fixation of the silver salts over the paper.

He photographed all the different social classes of Brazil in the 19th century. Besides the Brazilian monarchy and black people, he also photographed the nobility, the rich tradesmen and their families, and the white middle-class.

Eugen Keller and his nanny in Pernambuco, Brazil. 1874

Eugen Keller and his nanny in Pernambuco, Brazil. 1874

Prince Gaston of Orléans, Count of Eu or Dom Gastão de Orleães, Marshal of the Army. 1882

Prince Gaston of Orléans, Count of Eu or Dom Gastão de Orleães, Marshal of the Army. 1882 . Photographer: Alberto Henschel

The last photograph of José Paranhos, Viscount of Rio Branco. 1880.

The last photograph of José Paranhos, Viscount of Rio Branco. 1880. Photographer: Alberto Henschel

Foto de negra tirada na Bahia. 1870.

Foto de negra tirada na Bahia. 1870. Photographer: Alberto Henschel

Nude of young Black girl. Salvador, province of Bahia. 1869

Nude of young Black girl. Salvador, province of Bahia. 1869. Photographer: Alberto Henschel

Moça mulata de Salvador, Província da Bahia, 1869

Moça mulata de Salvador, Província da Bahia, 1869. Photographer: Alberto Henschel

Foto de negro ancião. 1870

Foto de negro ancião. 1870. Photographer: Alberto Henschel

Menino sorridente. 1882

Menino sorridente. 1882. Photographer: Alberto Henschel

Negra com criança na Bahia. 1870

Negra com criança na Bahia. 1870. Photographer: Alberto Henschel

Moça de Salvador. 1869

Moça de Salvador. 1869. Photographer: Alberto Henschel

Duas negras posando em estúdio. 1870

Duas negras posando em estúdio. 1870. Photographer: Alberto Henschel

Dom Pedro II, a imperatriz Thereza Christina Maria, a princesa Isabel e o conde d'Eu. Rio de Janeiro. 1875

Dom Pedro II, a imperatriz Thereza Christina Maria, a princesa Isabel e o conde d’Eu. Rio de Janeiro. 1875. Photographer: Alberto Henschel

Criança em Pernambuco. 1870

Criança em Pernambuco. 1870. Photographer: Alberto Henschel

Babá com criança. 1882

Babá com criança. 1882. Photographer: Alberto Henschel


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