Yermakov, Dmitri

Biography

Yermakov Dmitri Ivanovich (1845-1916) – a military topographer, photographer-traveler, orientalist, ethnographer. The professional activities of Dmitry Ivanovich Yermakov as a photographer began in Tiflis in the 1860s. Together with painter Kolchin in the 60s of the XIX century Dmitri Yermakov was the owner of photo studio. The enterprize was so popular that all Tiflis inhabitants were eager to make “cabinet portraits" or "visit cards" in this photo studio. He opened another studio in Tiflis 1870 and one more studio in Kislovodsk during the holiday season.

Being an inexhaustible traveler, Yermakov considered scenery shooting and reproduction of genre scenes the main challenge in his life. He updated and improved his march laboratory, made his camera mobile and studied languages (by the beginning of the 1900s Yermakov knew 10 languages and dialects).

He realized a long journey through Persia (Iran) in the 1879s. During this trip, Yermakov made many ethnographic photographs and received the title of "the photographer of His Majesty, the Shah of Persia". He was assigned to the Russian troops in the Caucasian theater of war. The photographs of this period reflected the events of the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-1878.

In the period from 1870 up to 1915, Dmitry Ivanovich for a long time lived and worked in Persia, Turkey, in Crimea and in the trans-Caspian region. Photographic postcards "Photos of Tiflis by D. I. Yermakov," photos with images of Yalta and Gurzuf, Alupka and Feodosia, Tuapse and Sevastopol were very popular.

1880-1900s became the period of the most intense work of the photographer. The appearance of new facilities: a "field camera” invented by I. Filipenko and a large-scale stereo foto-apparatus box by D. Ezuchevskiy afforded new opportunities. Thus, while traveling, D. Yermakov made photos of the places of interest in Constantinople, Athens, and Jerusalem.

In 1896, Yermakov published “The Catalogue of photographic views and types of the Caucasus, Persia, European and Asian Turkey" and "Addition of 1901". Both catalogues included 25 556 negatives, as well as stereo views and 127 albums. It was a real anthology of everyday life, culture, beliefs and customs of different nations and nationalities.

Almost until his last days, Yermakov was preoccupied by his favorite job: being rather elderly and not a very healthy man, he left for Svanetia in 1912. Photographer of a great culture and experience, he managed to create truly artistic images, to reach the finest transmission of aerial perspective of this highland region during that journey.

Yermakov was «The Court photographer of His Majesty, the Shah of Persia", an Honorary member of the Caucasian section of the Moscow Archaeological society and the society for the encouragement of fine arts in Tiflis. Received awards from the French photographic society (1874), Moscow anthropological exhibition (1878), as well as from Iranian, Turkish and Italian societies of photographers.