Romanian painter, lithographer and photographer present at the Crimean War (1854-1856)
He is considered the world’s first combat photographer as he took pictures in the battlefield, during the first year of the Russian-Turkish War, later known as the Crimean War (1853-1856).
Carol Pop de Szathmari was born in Cluj (Klausenburg, or Kolozsvár), Transylvania, on 11 January 1812. He was of noble descent and one can still find his ancestors’ coat-of-arms preserved at the Reformed Church in Cluj. He read law at the Reformed College in his hometown, Cluj. His talent for painting shone out from an early age; this artistic calling proved stronger and he was soon to give up his law career and devote himself to painting. For a short time Szathmari attended the Fine Arts Academy in Vienna; he then turned to a bohemian lifestyle, gaining more knowledge from travel exploits than from his professors.
Being a passionate traveller, Szathmari journeyed through Europe and often crossed the Carpathian Mountains to visit Wallachia and its capital Bucharest, where he eventually settled in 1843. A leading artist in a country with few, if any, gifted local painters, Szathmari was flooded with commissions in the 1840s and 1850s. An accomplished landscape and portrait painter, at ease with both watercolours and oil paints, Szathmari obtained commissions from the wealthy Wallachian boyars (noblemen). A dashing young man, elegantly dressed, fluent in Romanian, German, French and Italian, the painter became valued company in the high-society circles of Bucharest. The self-portrait he took a few years later, showing the artist standing in front of his easel, pallete and brushes in hand, surrounded by his art collections, gives a clear indication of his success…(http://www.luminous-lint.com/app/photographer/Carol__Szathmari/A/)