Melitón Rodríguez


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(1875–1923), self-taught Columbian photographer, resident in the north-western town of Medellín. He did his best work c. 1890–1920, as Medellín was developing rapidly into an industrial centre, with an ethnically diverse population of European entreprenenurs and indigenous workers. Conditions were rough; there was no electricity until 1912. Rodríguez did portraits, street and social scenes, and documentary photographs of mining and railway building. He won a gold medal in Paris in 1896 and socialized with the town's intelligentsia, but was apparently very poor. His photographs, though taken during the pictorialist era, appeal because of their rawness and lack of pretension. His archive of c.80,000 negatives is held by the Biblioteca Pública Piloto de Medellín.

From The Oxford Companion to the Photograph in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Photography and Photographs.

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