Russian artist Alfred R. Eberling (1871 -1951) lived complex and interesting life – he came to make known the glory and prosperity, the lack of money and the rejection of it in artistic circles. He for a long time rival abroad, but most of his life was held in St. Petersburg. Preserved his paintings in museums – in Russian, and Theatre in St. Petersburg, in Moscow, Bakhrushin and other Kept his paintings are in private collections – the most complete in Italy – in the country, which he loved and where many worked – before the revolution in Florence he had a workshop.

the Great interest arose after half a century after his death, but not as a painter but as a … the photographer. Miraculously survived his negatives and in 1999 with the success of last first exhibition, where they were shown pictures of Petersburg, which he made exactly a hundred years ago.

My first pictures he made in Turkey, where he was sent at the end of Academy of Arts for the restoration of paintings of the Orthodox Church in San Stefano. Judging by his record, where in 1898 he purchased a portable camera ’Pocket Kodak’. It was the prototype of the modern «camera», but quite primitive – worked only a single exposure at a fixed aperture. Limited camera capabilities predetermined recording conditions – you can shoot was only in bright sunlight. Weather in Constantinople allowed him to get great results.

This experience helped the next 1899 to do more shots in St. Petersburg. Around the seething life of the big city, there were many situations that he, as an artist, I wanted to fix, but because of their transience, he could not do it with pencil, and he photographed. Affects its propensity to live, reportage style of photography. This is unusual, as the pictures of those years are characterized by their static nature.

Pictures of Eberling – direct, they are the people he shoots, no time for him to react. It is safe to say that Eberling, in fact, was the first “street” photographer in St. Petersburg, and perhaps in the whole of Russia.

what did these pictures Alfred R. – the question is hypothetical. Say, like sketches or sketches that every artist writes in his notebook. However, familiarity with its picturesque works, leads to the conclusion that this is not so. Therefore, the photo was new to him means to fix their visual experience and, simultaneously, a special way of expression.

In 1907 Eberling begins to work on the canvas of the ballet world ’Temple of Terpsichore.  To do this, he posed great ballerina Anna Pavlova, Tamara Karsavina, Matilda Kshesinskaya. «All the taste, all the charm of its flavour Eberling gives female portraits” – newspaper wrote about this work. These truly remarkable photographs reveal another facet of the talent of the artist and are open to the unknown pages of the history of Russian photography.