Blog post

Abdullah Frères, Ottoman photographers

Documenting life in Constantinople and the Ottoman Empire

cropped black and white photograph, a man with a beard wearing long robes and a hat
by
Adrian Murphy (opens in new window) (Europeana Foundation)

Abdullah Frères was a photography studio in Constantinople (Istanbul), one of the most successful and famed during the late Ottoman Empire.

decorative illustration with name Abdullah Frères at centre, with other text, and floral and ornamental decorative elements

It was run by three brothers of Armenian heritage - Viçen Abdullahyan (1820–1902) (later known as Abdullah Şükrü after converting to Islam), Hovsep Abdullahyan (1830–1908) and Kevork Abdullahyan (1839–1918).

Over 40 years, the Abdullah brothers took many portraits of different types of people, landscapes, architecture, but also documented various political and social events, historical and cultural values.

black and white photograph of four men, two standing, two seated, who wear robes and hats

The studio existed from the 1850s until the early 1900s. In 1863, the Abdullah Frères were appointed he official court photographers by Sultan Abdulaziz. From 1866 to 1895, the brothers also ran a studio in Cairo, Egypt.

black and white photograph, a bridal portrait of a man and woman, who wear a suit and wedding dress
black and white photograph of a covered balcony in a garden
black and white photograph, a portrait of a man with a moustache
black and white photograph, a landscape view of a mosque in Istanbul
black and white photograph, a bearded man wearing long robes
black and white photograph, a portrait of a young man
black and white photograph, a camp during a war battle
black and white photograph, a portrait of a young man who wears a long coat and hat
black and white photograph, a portrait of a woman
black and white photograph, a street in Istanbul (Constantinople)
black and white photograph, a studio portait of two childen
black and white photograph, a portrait of a woman who wears a long dress with a veil
black and white photograph, a man wearing a dark coat and hat
Photography Muslim heritage Turkey