Historical photographs of towns, cities, regions, and foreign countries, and various other genres. Most images are from the Collection Scheufler. You can order digital data and prints. For prices and more information please contact us via email.

Šumava in the earliest photographs

The beauty of forests, lakes and houses was particularly appreciated by photographers who came in contact with Šumava/Böhmerwald  and its inhabitants more often.

First photographers of Šumava / Böhmerwald

According to a study by German researchers I. Jordan, M. Frank and P. Praxl, the oldest exactly dated photograph from the Šumava region is a picture from Volary after the great fire of 1863, deposited as a reproduction in the Pasov Museum. By a few years younger is a picture of Adalbert Stifter’s native home in Horní Planá, made by the Viennese photographer Johann Schneider and dated 1867.
The author of apparently first set of photographs from the Bohemian part of Šumava was Ignác Kranzfelder, originally a traveling photographer, who later settled in Domažlice and Klatovy. His oldest pictures documented building of a railway from Plzeň to Železná Ruda in 1874-77. Around that time, František Fridrich from Prague, then the most important publisher of photographs in the whole of Austria-Hungaria of the 1870s, traveled with a camera through touristically interesting localities. From 1881 and 1882 comes a large set of Šumava pictures authored by Jindřich Eckert, a passionate tourist, the first Czech landscape photographer.
Next to authors who traveled to Šumava as “tourist photographers” photographers living in Šumava worked there already, working mainly in their studios. The first photographer living and taking pictures directly in Šumava was probably Frantz Veits in Volary, whose first photo portraits are known from around 1868. Apparently the first Prachatice photographer was Emil Wangemann, mentioned as a photographer in 1866. In 1874-75 Ignác Josef Schächtl worked as a photographer in Prachatice, and photographed also the town. The earliest important photographers in Sušice are connected with the artistic family Quast. The first one was Konrad Ferdinand Quast, who opened a branch studio of his Písek family company in Sušice around 1875. Gustav Adolf Quest had his own studio in Sušice after the death of his brother in 1877, and he also photographed the town together with the surrounding parts of Šumava.
Centers situated further away like Český Krumlov, České Budějovice and Pasov, not only the nearest larger towns, played an important role during the beginning of Šumava photography. In 1884 was founded Der Deutsche Böhmerwaldbund in the South Bohemian capital, which ordered from the local photographer Josef Woldan a set of pictures from Šumava. At that time, M. Kopecký from Wimperk could compete with Woldan in quantity and quality of photographs, who advertised “his own publishing firm”. In the summer of 1887 the Pasov Waldverein magazine invited to Šumava Bernhard Johannes, a photographer from Meran, and published a set of Johannes’s large format phototypes that year. Drawings complemented photographs, reproduced through photographical means by a well-known Prague publisher and printer Carl Bellmann.
At the beginning of 1880 came Gotthard Zimmer to Volary, and later to Český Krumlov. After his death in 1886 Josef Seidel led his photographical studio. Versatile and talented Seidel gained great success in photography and can be described as the most important personality of Šumava photography ever. Josef Wolf began his photographical activities in Český Krumlov in 1891, and just like Seidel worked in his studio all of his life.
During the 80s of the 19th century Alphons Adolph entered into Šumava photography, coming to Pasov from Žitava in 1889. His bother (?) Gustav Adolph, who had a studio in Schreiberhau (today Szklarska Poreba) and photographed Krkonoše, is also known with a few Šumava pictures. By the end of the 19th century Alphons Adolph placed himself among the most important publishers of Šumava postcards, and his sets were the most diverse at that time. Another one of important photographers, who came to Šumava woods by the end of the 80s of the 19th century, was František Krátký from Kolín, who as the first one captures Šumava inhabitants in ordinary daily activities.

František Fridrich: Black Lake, pavilion, c. 1878, František Fridrich: Black Lake, pavilion, c. 1878, - carte-de-visite

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