The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

A young artist 'at work'

A young artist 'at work'

An ingenious idea for a novelty cabinet card portrait, the photographer has dressed up one child as an artist, complete with miniature palette and brushes, photographed the pair with a blank canvas on an easel between them, then later overprinted another portrait of the second child onto the area of the canvas, thus creating the illusion of a young artist at work on a painted portrait.

Photographed by John B. Russell of Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands and Thurso on the north coast of Scotland.

According to the 1881 census, John B. Russell was born in Dunbarton in or about 1851. At the time of the census he was living in Kirkwall with his wife and their two infant daughters, Cecilia and Agnes. He described himself as a 'photographer and sewing machine agent (employing 2 girls)'.

Code: 125378
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