IVAN D. MIHAILOV Group Portrait of Bulgarian Family ca. 1920 Sofia - x +

CN: MihI1920fami

MT: silver print on paper, mounted on card and glazed within original wooden frame (24x30 / C:30x37 / F:35x42x2)

TX: signed with fountain pen at lower right of picture <Михайловь и. д. (Mihailov I. D.)>, stamped at rear center <художник (Artist) / ив. д. Михайловь (Iv. D. Mihailov) / ул. Нишка (Nishka St.) No 18 / София (Sofia)>

DN: Mr. Megakles Rogakos - 2008

CM: I cannot identify the family in the photograph, beyond saying that it must have been taken around 1920. Although the photographer is not yet identified, he was clearly well-known at the time, describes himself as an "Artist", and from the background of the family photographic portrait seems to have had a good-size studio and probably a good clientele from among the urban middle class in the Bulgarian capital. His studio was on Nishka Street, which no longer exists. It was originally one of the main arterial roads from the City centre of Sofa towards the western gate of the old Roman City, called in pre-Byzantine times Sardica. Nish, in South-Eastern Serbia is the Roman Nyssa, Naissus, the birth place of the Emperor Constantine the Great in Illyricum. This area is now known as Serdika, and was the city centre terminus of the first underground line. There was considerable urban development in the 1990s and the entire street plan changed when a new wide Boulevard, with pedestrain underpasses, was constructed and named after a popular Bulgarian politician of the Agrarian party and former Prime Minister, Aleksandar Stamboliyski (1879-1923). All the shops/houses of Nishka Street, between numbers 1 to 19 and 2 to 18 were demolished, and the numbers from then on were rebuilt and incorporated in the new Boulevard. A large central branch of BulBank (part of the Milan-based investment banking chain UniCredito) stands on the former Nishka Street 4 and 6. A former parallel street to Nishka, Pirotka Street, still remains and is the equivalent, from a commercial point of view, of Ermou Street in Athens.

[Stelios Rigopoulos former Archimandrite Isaias Simonopetritis 12/2008]