The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

'Laughing and Crying'

'Laughing and Crying'

A carte-de-visite showing a pair of busts by the French sculptor Adolphe Itasse (1829-1893), which were shown at the International Exhibition held in London in 1871. According to the printed caption in the margin, the title of the two busts is 'Laughing and Crying.' The Art-Journal Catalogue of the exhibition specifically mentions three other works by Itasse, which it thinks 'full of the best characteristics of the French school of modelling,' but has nothing to say about these two small sculptures.

The exhibition was held to commemorate the Great Exhibition of 1851 and London's International Exhibition of 1862. It attracted over a million visitors and made a small profit.

Photographed by the London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company, who also produced the image as a stereoview. Unusually, each bust appeared on one side of the slide, so when seen through a stereoviewer, the two works appeared superimposed on each other. Charles Darwin, who was intrigued by the similarities between a laughing and a crying face, possessed an example of this stereoview, which is now held in the Darwin Archive at Cambridge University Library.

Code: 126676
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