Born on 02.08.1829, died on 08.01.1904, Felix Philipp Kanitz was an Austro-Hungarian painter, naturalist, geographer, ethnographer, archaeologist and author of travel notes. Kanitz was born in Budapest to a rich Jewish family and enrolled in art in the University of Vienna in 1846, at the age of 17. He traveled extensively after 1850, visiting Germany, France, Belgium and Italy. He settled in Vienna in 1856 and undertook a journey to Dalmatia in the Balkans in 1858, which marked the beginning of his thorough research of the South Slavs. Apart from Dalmatia, he also visited Herzegovina, Bosnia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria and Macedonia. He worked on the topic until 1889. The knowledge he gathered being characterized as particularly important for the period. A good painter and drawer, Kanitz was also the author of a number of black and white drawings related to the life in the Balkans. Born a Jew, he later converted to Christianity. Between 1870 and 1874 he was the first custodian of the Anthropologisch-Urgeschichtliches Museum in Vienna.
Kanitz is regarded as one of the first profound ethnographers of the South Slavs. As such, he has earned great respect particularly in modern Serbia and Bulgaria. A village in Vidin Province in northwestern Bulgaria and a street in Sofia are named after him. One particularly important work of Kanitz related to Macedonia is his illustrated book “Reise in Südserbien und Nordbulgarien” (A Journey to South Serbia and North Bulgaria) published in Vienna in 1868.