The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

 
 
 
Pre-mortem portrait of moribund woman

Pre-mortem portrait of moribund woman


A cabinet card portrait of a young woman lying in bed in a domestic interior. It's possible she's an invalid, rather than a corpse, but her gaze seems rather fixed and glassy. I think the letter and the magazine are performing the same function as the doll or teddy bear that sometimes appear in post mortem portraits of children. They are there as props, placed on the bed by the photographer to suggest that the dead woman has only just put them down and might at any moment take them up again.

Photographed by S.P.L. Phillips of 147 North End, Croydon [England].

 

Code: 122575
 
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© Paul Frecker 2018