Carlos Relvas the first amateur photographer in Portugal

Carlos Relvas the first amateur photographer in Portugal


An important farmer in the region of the Ribatejo, a most skilful horseman, a sportsman, and a distinguished and cultured man of his time, Carlos Relvas was born in Golegã in 1838.
His wealth and, above all, his cultivated mind led him to develop an interest in photography, that "revolution in the arts of drawing" which, at the time of his birth, was just beginning to take its first steps in France with Nicéphore Niepce and Daguerre.

A keen traveller, Relvas visited several countries in Europe, where he had the chance to learn more about the most advanced techniques involved in this new art and to acquire all the materials that were necessary for photography, which he collected at his studio in Golegã.
As a result of these journeys, he began working in this area and put together an extremely valuable collection of views taken from various points in Europe, which now represents an interesting document testifying to the different places and ways of life to be found in the 19th century.

Carlos Relvas devoted a great deal of his time, and indeed his life, to photography. In this particular field, he was simultaneously a theorist, researcher and distinguished artist, whose work deservedly won prizes at various international exhibitions (Madrid, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Vienna, Philadelphia), whilst he himself was awarded a whole host of national and foreign decorations.

Carlos Relvas the first amateur photographer in Portugal
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