Creative > Photography & Graphics

Pictures of Playmobil Past

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It reminds me 100+ years ago they used to dress up dead people and put them in as natural poses as possible, as would they still be alive, to then take pictures  :skull:



--- Quote from: GrahamB on May 10, 2021, 06:13:40 ---I'm loving these wonderful portraits of colourful characters from the past!

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Thanks, GrahamB!  :wave: I hope I will continue to make discoveries around the house that may be of interest to more than just myself.

--- Quote from: Hadoque on May 10, 2021, 21:15:07 ---It reminds me 100+ years ago they used to dress up dead people and put them in as natural poses as possible, as would they still be alive, to then take pictures  :skull:
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Ah, yes! I hear people were dying to be photographed back then.  ::) (Okay, I'll show myself out  :-[ ). Though I can't imagine wanting to keep a picture of a dead relative as a keepsake today, there is something touching—though slightly unnerving nonetheless—about Victorian post-mortem photography.

Who knows but that I may yet find some portrait of the dead somewhere around the house!  ;)

Why, just this morning I was rifling through some papers, long forgotten in a deep drawer of a dusty desk located in the study, when I found this most lovely watercolor portrait hidden at the very bottom, seemingly untouched by the hands of time:

On the back of the unframed picture is written in a delicate hand: "Portrait of Pauline with Posies and a Pussycat" with the date 1905. The picture is unsigned, and I do wonder if the portrait was painted by an accomplished friend or relative of the sitter. Watercolor painting was considered a very genteel pastime during the period, to be sure. I still have not been able to identify the mysterious Pauline in the portrait—there does not appear to be a Pauline in the previous families who owned the house, which dates to the early 1870s. Perhaps continuing the search will yield more clues?

Great pics, made all the better by the stories!  :gent:


--- Quote from: Macruran on May 15, 2021, 02:22:47 ---Great pics, made all the better by the stories!  :gent:

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Thanks Macruran! :wave: I consider myself lucky to be finding such well-preserved items of interest.

Just today, I finally had time to go through some of the old books filling the long-untouched shelves of the study. Among the interesting old tomes, I was amazed to discover several antique albums filled with carte-de-visite photographs dating from the late 1870s through to the early 1900s! While many of the photographic portraits are of normal, everyday people (like the friends and family of previous owners), there are quite a few photographs depicting illustrious persons and notable celebrities of the day.

For instance, I came across this lovely portrait below of Anna Louise LaBelle, one of the first women in Europe to earn a formal degree in chemistry. LaBelle was one of the few people to conduct research into early thermoplastics, paving the way for their use in a variety of everyday objects. LaBelle was famous for her saying "everything is chemistry and chemistry is everything." Unfortunately, many of the chemicals used by LaBelle in her research were toxic in large doses, and she died relatively young in 1918; however, she had lived to see her research put to great use with many applications in the medical industry, which saw widespread use during the First World War.

I also came across this interesting photograph of Bertha Mills and her governess/teacher, Mary O'Clare. Bertha Mills was born blind, deaf, and without the ability to move her body in 1873 to a wealthy family in Boston, Massachusetts. Bertha was seemingly cut off from the outside world entirely, trapped in her own body and mind. When she was six years old, the family hired Mary O'Clare to be her governess. May had been a teacher to the deaf, and she developed a method of communication with Bertha using a system of blinks, which soon developed into a full language. Not only did Bertha learn to communicate, but she quickly became a child prodigy, excelling in the areas of mathematics and physics. By the time she was 13 years old (when this photograph was taken), Bertha was giving lectures on advanced mathematical concepts, with Mary acting as her interpreter. Bertha Mills would eventually go on to study at university, earning a doctorate in mathematics in 1894. She would go on to become a distinguished professor, defining several important mathematical concepts; Mary O'Clare would stay by her side until the end of her life, helping Bertha to navigate the world and communicate her unique wisdom.

Perhaps even more exciting, I happened upon a large trunk in a corner of the cellar which I have not yet fully explored. Inside the trunk, I was shocked to discover another beautiful framed portrait, this one entitled "Portrait of Pauline in Pink."

This appears to be the same Pauline seen in previous portraits with that name. But who is she? The only clue here is the signature of the aritst: "Alfred Stitzl, 1916." Stitzl is another artist of some renown, working largely in the Early Expressionist style seen here. The bold colors, dynamic lines, and slightly warped perspective seen in this painting are characteristic of the style; the symbolism with the white lilies and the white Bible on the table are characteristic of Stitzl's work.

The identity of Pauline remains a mystery for now. Sometimes, lying alone in this dark old house at night, I swear I can almost here a voice whisper the name: Pauline...

I love your Artwork and your take on these historical figures  :love:

What a wonderful idea to match these stunning and so creative pictures with stories of these colourful characters  :)

Thank you so much for sharing these pictures and stories with us  :thanks:

Great thread that I will always have pleasure visiting again  :wave:



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