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Photgrapher Kassian Cephas

Kassian Cephas or Kassian Céphas (January 15, 1845 – November 16, 1912) was a Javanese photographer at the court of the Sultanate of Yogyakarta. He was the first Indonesian native to become a professional photographer. He was educated at the request of the Sultan Hamengkoeboewono VI (1821-1877, reigned 1855-1877). At the beginning of 1871 he started as a court painter and court photographer with portrait photography of the members of the royal family, and he also made recordings of monuments, including the Borobudur at the request of the Archaeologische Vereeniging. His work for the preservation of Java's heritage was rewarded with a membership of the Royal Institute for Linguistics, Land- and Ethnology and an award in the Order of Orange-Nassau. Cephas and his wife Dina Rakijah had four children. The eldest son Sem Kassian (1870-1918) was trained as a photographer by his father, helped him for many years and continued the business after Kassian's death until his own death in 1918.


n 1889, the Archaeological Union (Archaeologische Vereeniging) began efforts to study and preserve monuments of the Hindu Javanese civilization in Central Java. One of the locations having high priority in the union's efforts was the temple of Prambanan. Cephas was also credited with photographing the Borobudur temple complex after its hidden base was discovered in 1885

On the occasion of Queen Wilhelmina's 21st birthday later that year, Cephas was awarded with an honorary gold medal of the Order of Orange-Nassau for his work to portray and preserve Java's cultural heritage







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