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Original scientific paper

Demeter Novaković - First Croatian Daguerreotypist

Nada Grčević ; Samostalni istraživač

Fulltext: croatian, pdf (23 MB) pages 117-126 downloads: 173* cite
APA 6th Edition
Grčević, N. (1996). Demeter Novaković prvi hrvatski dagerotipist. Peristil, 39 (1), 117-126. Retrieved from
MLA 8th Edition
Grčević, Nada. "Demeter Novaković prvi hrvatski dagerotipist." Peristil, vol. 39, no. 1, 1996, pp. 117-126. Accessed 13 May 2021.
Chicago 17th Edition
Grčević, Nada. "Demeter Novaković prvi hrvatski dagerotipist." Peristil 39, no. 1 (1996): 117-126.
Grčević, N. (1996). 'Demeter Novaković prvi hrvatski dagerotipist', Peristil, 39(1), pp. 117-126. Available at: (Accessed 13 May 2021)
Grčević N. Demeter Novaković prvi hrvatski dagerotipist. Peristil [Internet]. 1996 [cited 2021 May 13];39(1):117-126. Available from:
N. Grčević, "Demeter Novaković prvi hrvatski dagerotipist", Peristil, vol.39, no. 1, pp. 117-126, 1996. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 13 May 2021]

The large number of documents and files in the Zagreb History archives allows us to reconstruct the course of his life. He was born in Pitomača in 1786 and came to Zagreb in 1807. In 1813 he married Barbara Panisić following which he opened his own shop and became a permanent citizen of Zagreb in 1815. His ability for hard work and his aptitude for business, which he had whown even earlier, made possible his swift success but in 1816 suffered the theft of goods of considerable value for which he was fined a large sum of money. It took him many years to wipe out the debt and he was not free to carry out normal business until 1829 in which year he made contact with F. Becker, a Paris merchant, and began to trade in leeches. A record in the archives shows that in 1839 Novaković applied for extension of his passport to travel to France, England and Turkey and newspaper extracts show that he was in Paris and learned daguerreotype there from Daguerreotype himself. The author considers that he must have arrived in Paris just when the epochal discovery of daguerreotype was being made. He seems to have immediately recognized the possibilities of the new invention and immediately took the opportunity to order the then expensive equipment which had just begun to appear on the market. At the same time he would have been able to attend the first demonstrations by Daguerreotype of his new inventio and been present at the photographing from the window of Palais d'Orsay in September 1839. In this way Novaković was among the first and narrowest circle of Daguerreotype's "pupils" and followers, those who later spread his fame. He contributed to this dissemination of Daguerreotype's discovery by himself take pictures that same year in Zagreb, and already in 1840 Belgrade. From this short but important episode of Daguerreotype in Croatia no pictures by Novaković have been preserved. The author continues to follow Novaković's career, as through unsound business ventures, usually the result of unreliable partners he ended in poverty and died in 1845.

Hrčak ID: 138682



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