Robert Stewart was a professional photographer based in Sydney and Melbourne. Born in Scotland, he was working in partnership with Charles Pickering in Sydney from 1859 to 1861 and established his own studio in 1862. He transferred his business to Melbourne in 1871, and continued to work there until 1880. Robert’s brother Richard established the successful firm of Stewart & Co in Melbourne in 1871, which had 50 employees, four studios and six operators by 1887 and continued until 1900.
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
9.6 x 6.0 cm image; 10.2 x 6.3 cm mount card
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Not on display