Deceased young girl thumbnail 1
Deceased young girl thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, room 512M , Case PX4, Shelf 2

Deceased young girl

Daguerreotype
ca. 1845-1855 (photographed)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

The daguerreotype was the first form of photography to be announced to the world in Paris in January 1839. They are unique, direct positive images formed on a sheet of highly polished and silvered copper. The process flourished primarily for commercial portraiture and rapidly replaced portrait miniature painting as a record of a loved one and an intimate keepsake. Mememto mori or post mortem daguerreotypes are an important genre within early photography. High rates of infant mortality in the 19th century prompted grieving parents to commission photographers to make a lasting record of their deceased child. Children were often posed as if resting in bed, echoing the trope sometimes seen in sculptural funerary monuments of infant death as temporary sleep before afterlife.

Object details

Categories
Object type
TitleDeceased young girl (generic title)
Materials and techniques
Slighltly hand-coloured sixth plate dagerreotype mounted in hinged wood embossed leather case
Brief description
Daguerreotype of a deceased young girl, unknown photographer, ca. 1845-1855
Physical description
A mounted daquerreotype in hinged wood case covered with embossed leather with red silk inner pad. The image is of a child laying upon a pillow with eyes closed with arms at her side.
Dimensions
  • Case height: 9.5cm
  • Case width: 8.3cm (Note: case closed)
  • Case depth: 1.3cm (Note: case closed)
  • Case width: 16.6cm (Note: case open)
Production typeUnique
Credit line
Purchase funded by the Photographs Acquisition Group
Subjects depicted
Summary
The daguerreotype was the first form of photography to be announced to the world in Paris in January 1839. They are unique, direct positive images formed on a sheet of highly polished and silvered copper. The process flourished primarily for commercial portraiture and rapidly replaced portrait miniature painting as a record of a loved one and an intimate keepsake. Mememto mori or post mortem daguerreotypes are an important genre within early photography. High rates of infant mortality in the 19th century prompted grieving parents to commission photographers to make a lasting record of their deceased child. Children were often posed as if resting in bed, echoing the trope sometimes seen in sculptural funerary monuments of infant death as temporary sleep before afterlife.
Collection
Accession number
E.637-2014

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Record createdJuly 17, 2014
Record URL
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