First Public Photo of Queen Victoria (1860)

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Queen Victoria by John Jabez Edwin Mayall in 1860. One of the first published photographs of the Queen. The public had never seen or been able to buy a photograph of the Queen before and once on sale, the images were extremely popular via

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Whistler´s Brilliant Portraits

James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834 – 1903) was an American artist, active during the American Gilded Age and based primarily in the United Kingdom. He was averse to sentimentality and moral allusion in painting, and was a leading proponent of the credo “art for art’s sake”. His famous signature for his paintings was in the shape of a stylized butterfly possessing a long stinger for a tail. The symbol was apt, for it combined both aspects of his personality—his art was characterized by a subtle delicacy, while his public persona was combative.

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Jo by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, 1861 via

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Weary by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, 1863 via

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Reading by Lamplight by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, 1858 via

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Annie Haden by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, 1860 via

Count Burckhardt published 1862 by James Abbott McNeill Whistler 1834-1903

Count Burckhardt by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, 1862 via

 

Beautiful Victorian Portraits by Lady Clementina Hawarden

Lady Clementina Hawarden (1822 – 1865) was a noted portrait photographer of the Victorian Era.

She turned to photography in late 1857 or early 1858, whilst living on the estate of her husband’s family in Dundrum, Co. Tipperary, Ireland. A move to London in 1859 allowed her to set up a studio in her elegant home in South Kensington.

The furniture and characteristic decor of an upper-class London home was removed in order to create mise-en-scène images and theatrical poses within the first floor of her home – Hawarden’s characteristic portraits include her daughters Isabella Grace, Clementina, and Florence Elizabeth.

Hawarden produced albumen prints from wet-plate collodion negatives, a method commonly used at the time. Her work was widely acclaimed for its “artistic excellence”. Hawarden was considered an amateur photographer and while appreciated for her work, never became widely known as a photographer. Her photographic years were brief but prolific. Hawarden produced over eight hundred photographs from 1857-1864 before her sudden death. she died after suffering from pneumonia for one week, aged 42. It has been suggested that her immune system was weakened by constant contact with the photographic chemicals.

Her work is likened to Julia Margaret Cameron, another Victorian female photographer.

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A photograph that is possibly a self-portrait of Clementina, Lady Hawarden, taken in about 1862.

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Isabella by Clementina, Lady Hawarden

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Isabella by Lady Clementina Hawarden

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Clementina reading while sitting at the window wearing some kind of fancy dress or theatrical costume, ca. 1862-63 by Lady Clementina Hawarden.

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Clementina, reading a book by Clementina, Lady Hawarden

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Some Victorian “Carte de Visites”

The carte de visite was a type of small photograph which was patented in Paris by photographer André Adolphe Eugène Disdéri in 1854.  It was a small, cheap portrait format which made photography available to the masses.

It was usually made of an albumen print, which was a thin paper photograph mounted on a thicker paper card.

The Carte de Visite was slow to gain widespread use until 1859, when Disdéri published Emperor Napoleon III’s photos in this format. This made the format an overnight success.

The new invention was so popular it was known as “cardomania”and it spread throughout Europe and then quickly to America and the rest of the world.

The immense popularity of these card photographs led to the publication and collection of photographs of prominent persons.

Each photograph was the size of a visiting card, and such photograph cards were traded among friends and visitors.

Albums for the collection and display of cards became a common fixture in Victorian parlors.

By the early 1870s, cartes de visite were supplanted by “cabinet cards,” which were also usually albumen prints, but larger, mounted on cardboard backs.

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Contemporary carte de visite, 1860s

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Victorian carte de visite circa 1880s

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One of the first cartes de visite of Queen Victoria taken by photographer John Jabez Edwin Mayall

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Napoléon III and his wife Eugenie, cartes de visite by Disderi, circa 1865

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Carte de visite photograph of Ella Wesner, circa 1872, the most celebrated male impersonator of the Gilded Age Vaudeville circuit.

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 1860s original/vintage albumen carte de visite of a lovely young California bride in her flowing white wedding dress taken by the pioneer daguerreotypist from San Francisco,William Shew.

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Egyptian Home 1865

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Cairo. Egyptian Home (Interior). 1865. A. D. White Architectural Photographs, Cornell University Library.

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Cairo. Egyptian Home (Interior). 1865. A. D. White Architectural Photographs, Cornell University Library.

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Cairo. Egyptian Home (Interior). 1865. A. D. White Architectural Photographs, Cornell University Library.

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Amazing 19th Century Photos of Countess Virginie de Castiglione by Pierre Louis Pierson

In 1844 Pierre-Louis Pierson began operating a studio in Paris that specialized in hand-colored daguerreotypes. In 1855 he entered into a partnership with Léopold Ernest and Louis Frédéric Mayer, who also ran a daguerreotype studio. The Mayers had been named “Photographers of His Majesty the Emperor” by Napoleon III the year before Pierson joined them. Although the studios remained at separate addresses, Pierson and the Mayers began to distribute their images under the joint title “Mayer et Pierson,” and together they became the leading society photographers in Paris (source).

Pierre Louis Pierson´s most interesting professional project is the close collaboration he led with Virginia Oldoini, the Countess of Castiglione. She directed Pierre-Louis Pierson to help her create 700 different photographs in which she re-created the signature moments of her life for the camera. Both enjoyed creating playful identities within which the countess could be a Madonna, a sensual vamp revealing her legs and feet or a fantasy creature clad in eccentric costumes (source).

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La Comtesse décolletée; Roses mousseuses (Countess Virginia Oldoini Verasis di Castiglione)

by Pierre-Louis Pierson, 1861–67

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Béatrix  (Countess Virginia Oldoini Verasis di Castiglione)

by Pierre-Louis Pierson, 1856–57

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La Psyché  (Countess Virginia Oldoini Verasis di Castiglione)

by Pierre-Louis Pierson, 1860s.

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Stella (autre) (Countess Virginia Oldoini Verasis di Castiglione)

by Pierre-Louis Pierson, 1860s.

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