Provenance: Purchased in Istanbul in the 1950's. By descent to the current owner.
Preziosi was born into a wealthy and aristocratic Maltese family and studied at the in Paris in 1840. On returning to Malta he found his father to be opposed to his artistic inclinations and so left the island for Constantinople.
His exact date of arrival in Constantinople is not known but it was around November 1842 and Preziosi soon established his reputation as a painter of contemporary Constantinople life. He worked from a studio at Pera and familiarised himself with all Turkish manners and customs. In 1858, in collaboration with Lemercier in Paris "Stamboul; Recollections of Eastern Life" was published with Preziosi providing twenty-nine illustrations to be lithographed.
Preziosi had ample opportunity to gather his subjects from the streets and bazaars of this vibrant city. The above album is a testament to the artist's skill as a documentor of the diversity of race, creed and affliction that where drawn to Constantinople from the Ottoman Empire and beyond.