John Degotardi was a professional photographer, engraver and publisher. Born in Ljubljana, he grew up in Austria and worked in Germany and London before arriving in Australia in 1853. In Sydney, Degotardi had a successful printing and lithography business, and by 1866 advertised his services in photolithography and photography, producing panoramic views of Sydney and New South Wales. Examples of his printing and photographic work won medals at the Victorian Intercolonial Exhibition of 1873 and the Sydney International Exhibition of 1879.
A carte de visite is a stiff card of about 10 x 6.4 cm, with an attached paper photograph, invented in 1854 by André-Adolphe-Eugène Disderi. They were introduced into Australia in 1859 by William Blackwood with albums arriving in 1860, aiding the collection and distribution of multiple cartes. Cartes were usually portraits and were made by the millions worldwide. Multi-lens, or ‘multiplying’ cameras were introduced in the 1860s, which were capable of producing from 2 to 32 images in quick succession, dramatically increasing the number of cartes de visite that could be made from a single photographic plate. They were easily reproduced by making paper contact prints from the glass plates, which were then cut and pasted to card.
carte de visite
6.7 x 5.4 cm oval image; 8.9 x 5.6 cm sheet; 10.1 x 6.2 cm mount card
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Not on display