The Convent, Cetinje, Montenegro


This late 19th-century photochrome print is part of “Views of Montenegro” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company. It depicts the Cetinje Monastery at the foot of Mount Lovćen in Cetinje. The monastery was built in 1701 by Bishop–Prince Danilo (1670–1735), the founder of the Petrović Njegoš dynasty, following the destruction by Venetian forces of the medieval Cetinje Monastery, a Serb Orthodox monastery built by Ivan the Black in 1484. The monastery has great historical significance for the Montenegrin people. It contains the remains of Saint Peter of Cetinje (1747–1830) and other religious relics and is the burial site of several members of the Petrović Njegoš dynasty, including Duke Mirko (1820–67), the father of King Nikola I (1841–1922). At the time the photograph was taken, Cetinje was the capital of Montenegro, an independent principality that separated from the Ottoman Empire in 1878. The people in the foreground are ordinary Montenegrins, dressed in national costumes worn on Sundays and special occasions. The Detroit Photographic Company was launched as a photographic publishing firm in the late 1890s by Detroit businessman and publisher William A. Livingstone, Jr., and photographer and photo-publisher Edwin H. Husher. They obtained the exclusive rights to use the Swiss "Photochrom" process to convert black-and-white photographs into color images and to print them by means of photolithography. This innovative process was successfully applied to the mass production of color postcards, prints, and albums for sale to the American market. The firm became the Detroit Publishing Company in 1905.

Last updated: June 24, 2014