[Autograph of Emperor Alexander III] Photo of Tsar Alexander III, photo by Sergey Levitsky

circa 1885

albumen print mounted on cardboard with gilt edges

11 x 8 cm

signed in ink at bottom of passe-partout: Sacha Fredensborg

stamped with the studio’s name and address: Левицкий / Невский пр. 23 С.П.Б. [Levitsky / Nevsky ave 23, St Petersburg]


Levitsky  Sergei (1819-1898) - court photographer, captured four generations of the Romanov dynasty. He had the exclusive right of artistic property to the portraits of the Emperor and Empress of Russia. In 1849, he shot the writer N.V. Gogol and other prominent Russian writers. In 1864, for his portrait of Napoleon III and his family at Fontainebleau, he was awarded the title "Photographer of Emperor Napoleon III" and became a member of the French Photographic Society. In 1890-1894 at the request of Alexander III a model "photographic house" was built for Levitsky. Levitsky was awarded many foreign and Russian orders and medals, and repeatedly received the highest awards at international photo exhibitions. In 1847, Levitsky designed a camera with furs, in 1849 at the Industrial Exhibition in Paris, Chevalier received a gold medal for daguerreotype photographs taken with this device, it was the first ever award for photographs. Levitsky was one of the first Russian photographers to use the volt arc, electric lighting and bromine-gelatine plates. He was one of the founders of the V Department of Lighting and its applications at the Russian Technical Society.