Thursday, April 18, 2019

Oscar Rejlander and Art Photography

Oscar Rejlander contributed photographs to Charles Darwin's work The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals.

Published in 1872, the book was one of the first to be illustrated with photographs, and it was unusual at the time to see photos showing such expressions.

Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson), 1863 by Oscar Gustav Rejlander
Oscar Rejlander took a carefully composed portrait of Alice-in-Wonderland author Lewis Carroll.

He provided reference photographs to assist painters such as Lawrence Alma Tadema. Finally, Rejlander pioneered an ambitious approach to art photography, producing in 1857 a moralistic photomontage called "The Two Ways of Life."

The Two Ways of Life by Oscar Rejlander, 1857

Oscar G. Rejlander: Artist Photographer
"This was a seamlessly montaged combination print made of thirty-two images (akin to the use of Photoshop today, but then far more difficult to achieve) in about six weeks. First exhibited at the Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition of 1857, the work shows a man being lured to paths of vice or virtue by good and bad angels. The image's partial nudity, which showed real women as they actually appeared and not the idealized forms then common in Victorian art, was deemed 'indecent' by some. Rejlander was also accused of using prostitutes as models, although Rejlander categorically denied this and no proof was ever offered. Reservations about the work subsided when Queen Victoria ordered a 10-guinea copy to give to Prince Albert." —Wikipedia
Wikipedia: Oscar Rejlander and Art Photography
Book: Oscar G. Rejlander: Artist Photographer


Peter Drubetskoy said...

Interesting! The world of vice occupies a bigger portion of the picture and I dare say the image might not have been very effective in its supposedly intended message. Maybe it's just me, but I only glance at the "good" side and move over to explore the "bad"

And why is Lewis Carroll polishing a travel coffee mug? ;)

Loretta said...

What's wrong with hiring a prostitute as a model? I'll Never understand the puritanical mind set.