The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

'Go away, Mama. I'm busy.'

'Go away, Mama. I'm busy.'

A carte-de-visite of a small child posing with pen and ink in the photographer's studio. A pencilled inscription verso in a period hand gives the caption.

Photographed by Oscar Gustavus Rejlander during the period when his studio was on the top two floors of Albert Mansions on Victoria Street. A tall narrow white stucco structure that stood next to the Victoria Palace Theatre, opposite the main entrance to Victoria Station, the building was pulled down a few years ago.

Often called the father of art photography, Rejlander was a Swede who emigrated to England in 1839. He lived first in Lincoln and then in 1845 moved to Wolverhampton, finally settling in London in April or May 1862. Along with HP Robinson, he became one of the leading exponents of ‘high-art’ photography. His Two Ways of Life was a mammoth composite work which caused a sensation when it was exhibited in 1857. In addition to his art photography, Rejlander also advertised his availability as a commercial portraitist. Nevertheless, he died penniless in 1875. He was buried in London's Kensal Green Cemetery.

Code: 126238
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