Ferrez, Marc (1843–1923)

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Ferrez, Marc (1843–1923)

Marc Ferrez (b. 7 December 1843; d. 12 January 1923), Brazilian-born portrait and landscape photographer. The son of a French sculptor who arrived in Brazil with the 1816 French Artistic Mission, Ferrez studied in Paris before returning to Rio de Janeiro to apprentice as a photographer with Franz Keller at the German-owned Leuzinger Studio. After a fire destroyed his first studio, he returned to Paris to order new equipment manufactured to his design to allow him to produce panoramic views. His most lasting photographs have as their subjects what he considered the wonders of the Brazilian landscape: natural features, such as mountains, waterfalls, and jungles, and man-made feats of engineering, such as railroads, bridges, and urban buildings. Ferrez also photographed members of the indigenous Botocudo tribe while serving as a member of the American Charles Fredrick Hartt's 1875–1876 geolog-ical and geographic expedition to the interior of the province of Bahia. Following late-nineteenth-century custom, he posed his Indian subjects against artificial backdrops. Highly skilled at neutralizing the effects of ship movement, Ferrez was named "photographer of the Royal Navy" by Emperor Pedro II. Photographic historians consider him to be the equal of such late-nineteenth-century master photographers as William Henry Jackson (1843–1942) and Eadweard Muybridge (1830–1904). Ferrez's grandson, Gilberto Ferrez, a leading collector and scholar, has devoted his life to publishing and publicizing his grandfather's work.

See alsoBrazil, Geography; French Artistic Mission; Photography: The Nineteenth Century.


Boris Kossoy, Origens e expansão da fotografia no Brasil—Século XIX (1980).

Rainer Fabian and Hans-Christian Adam, Masters of Early Travel Photography (1983).

Gilberto Ferrez, A fotografia no Brasil, 1840–1900 (1985).

Pedro Vasquez, Fotógrafos pioneiros no Rio de Janeiro (1990).

Additional Bibliography

Billeter, Erika. A Song to Reality: Latin American Photography, 1860–1993. Barcelona; New York: D.A.P., 1998.

Lago, Bia Corrêa do, and Pedro Corrêa do Lago. Brésil, les premiers photographes d'un empire sous les tropiques. Paris: Gallimard, 2005.

O Brasil de Marc Ferrez. Sao Paulo: Instituto Moreira Salles, 2005.

                                         Robert M. Levine