Benedykt Henryk Tyszkiewicz
Raudondvaris Wiala 3 Photos. 1896 m. July - August
Photo paper, 19,3 x 14; 14,3 x 19,2; 14 x 19,7. Glued on cardboard sheet (50 x 40). The notes in French with red and black ink indicate the date, place and name of the photo taken.
Count Tiskevicius (Tyszkiewicz), B.H. (1852-1935) was a photographer, collector and traveller. Born in Nemezis manor near Vilnius, he spent his childhood in Raudondvaris. As his parents Mykolas Tiskevicius (1824-1854) and Vanda Tiskeviciute (1833-1860) died young, he was brought up by his uncle. When Benediktas Henrikas was ten, his uncle took him to Paris. After reaching adulthood, Benediktas Henrikas inherited huge estates in the Russian Empire (including Raudondvaris) and in France. This allowed him to engage in photography which was a luxurious hobby at the time. Having bought the finest photography equipment then available, Tiskevicius, B. H. devoted most of his life to photography. In addition, the Count was a passionate traveller, and the camera accompanied him on all trips. Lots of interesting material came from travelling across Europe, Africa, America, the Far East, or sailing on his yacht Zemajtej.
Having started as an amateur, Tiskevicius became a recognised photographer not only in Lithuania but also throughout Europe. He received a high degree of international appreciation and recognition. The Count was a member of the prestigious Photo-Club de Paris. In 1901, he was elected as an honorary member of the newly formed Warsaw Photographic Society. Benediktas Henrikas Tiskevicius' photographs were exhibited at the Philadelphian International Exposition of 1876 (USA), the Universal Regional Exhibition of 1894 in Lviv, Berlin photo exhibitions in 1896 and 1899, photo exhibition at the Warsaw City Hall in 1901, and Agricultural Exhibition in Vilnius in 1902.
Unfortunately, his photo studio in Paris was entirely burnt down during the World War I, and the fire destroyed the forty years of work - photos and negatives. The fire and time buried his creative work in oblivion. For decades, photographs of the Count were known only through press reviews and from archival sources. Currently, in addition to the aforementioned, one more album is known which has been kept at the Royal Castle in Warsaw since 1989; several more pictures are stored in Lithuanian and Polish museums and archives. Exhibitions of Tiskevicius photographs were organised with success by the Nicephore Niepce House Museum in Vilnius (1999), Kaunas (2000) and Minsk (2009). The album was released in a form of the catalogue of the exhibition.
In the past decades, there appeared studies and articles analysing in various aspects the creative work of Count Tiskevicius, B.H. It may be safely said that it is namely his works where the sources of Lithuanian artistic photography come from.