Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Not a Hat

While I was looking for more daguerreotypes of kids in hats, I came across this image in the online collections of the George Eastman House. The little girls are hatless, but check out that farmer's tan!

Usually, 19th-century portraits show children dressed within an inch of their lives, but this photograph was taken by Julia Margaret Cameron, whose artistic portraits are rarely so stiff or formal. The religious overtones of this portrait cast the children as cherubs, saints, or the Christ child, but the little one's sun-darkened arms make it immediately clear that she belongs to earth, rather than to heaven. It's a lovely image.

Visit the George Eastman House website for more photos by Cameron and other famous photographers of the 19th century.

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