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Family Portrait

Now isn't this a lovely family? The photograph is fascinating to look at, but you might not want these folks at your holiday dinners. Someone traced the photograph to this blog post, which hints that the picture may be from England in the 1860s. There was speculation at reddit that it could be an example of post-mortem photography, but I don't see anyone who looks more dead than the others. Link


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Fascinating! From Wikipedia's entry on Post-Mortem Photography:

The earliest post-mortem photographs are usually close-ups of the face or shots of the full body and rarely include the coffin. The subject is usually depicted so as to seem in a deep sleep, or else arranged to appear more lifelike. Children were often shown in repose on a couch or in a crib, sometimes posed with a favorite toy or other plaything. It was not uncommon to photograph very young children with a family member, most frequently the mother. Adults were more commonly posed in chairs. Flowers were also a common prop in post-mortem photography of all types.

The effect of life was sometimes enhanced by either propping the subject's eyes open or painting pupils onto the photographic print, and many early images (especially tintypes and ambrotypes) have a rosy tint added to the cheeks of the corpse.
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