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Jean Xavier Raoult and his photos of Odessa (1870)


Jean Xavier Raoult (fr. J. X. Raoult) came to Odessa in the 1870s. He founded a photo studio in Odessa (on Deribasovskaya in Kirk’s house), then it was all at the level of such high technologies that it was generally impossible for an ordinary person of that time to comprehend with the mind. All this was named “Photographie Française. Rue de Ribas. Maison Cirico. J. X. Raoult. Odessa”.

He was engaged in ethnographic photography in the Southern regions of Russia. Known for a selection of his works that were included in the “Album of folk types of Russia.” The album was released in 1878. In the same year he became a member of the French Photographic Society.

For a series of photos “Album of folk types of Russia.“, Jean Raoul was awarded at the Paris Geographical Exposition of 1875 and at the World Exposition in Paris in 1878.

He also photographed the war between Russia and Turkey in 1877-1878, as a war correspondent. Then (in 1884), he made a shootings in Istanbul (Constantinopole), together with a professor at Novorossiysk University N.P. Kondakov. In the end, after he did what all people dream of – he dumped to Europe (to his homeland in France), where he died in 1890.

Photos of Odessa from the “Album of Folk Types of Russia”, shoted by Jean Xavier Raoul in 1878

View of the port from Nikolaevsky (Primorsky) boulevard from the building of the City Council. In the center of the photo there is the Saint Nicholas Port Church – the very descent of the Big (Potemkin) Stairs. The church will be blown up by the Bolsheviks in the late 1920s
View of the Platonovsky and Karantinniy breakwaters from Nikolaevsky (Primorsky) boulevard
Odessa port. View from the Big (Potemkin) Stairs
Odessa port. View from Nikolaevsky Boulevard (Primorsky) to the Quarantine pier
Lanzheronovskaya Street. On the left is the Richelieu hotel. Almost all of the houses in the photo have not survived. On the right, the ruins of the first opera house that burned down in 1873, but they were not included in the shot. The new theater will appear only in 1887 (in nine years)
Ekaterininskaya square. The period when there was only a fountain on this garden
Nikolaevsky (Primorsky) boulevard from the city council. The monument to Pushkin is not yet even in the projects
Nikolaevsky (Primorsky) boulevard near the Richelieu (Duke) monument. Everything here is almost the same as now, only the trees are smaller and the restaurant (on the right) is already in the final ruins
Potemkin staircase. There is no funicular yet
Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral before the large-scale reconstruction of 1901 – 1903
City Council building. Except for the large awnings on the windows (sun protection), everything is almost like it is now
Seretenska Church in the New Market (it was located right in the center of the market). Destroyed in the 1930s by the Soviet regime
Small Fountain. These houses near the water are baths for high society
Small Fountain. You will not find such stones on Odessa beaches
Small Fountain
Andreevsky (now Kuyalnitsky) estuary and hospital
Lanzheron. There is Dolphinarium “Nemo” somewhere in this place

Source: Odessa History