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Victorian headless portrait (genre of a photoless portrait in photo art)

In the XIX century in the Victorian era in England, thanks to the skills and abilities of the masters of photo art in the pictures, the head was separated from the body. The services of photographers who can create headless portraits were in great demand.

The emergence and development of the headless portrait genre
The Victorian period (1837–1901) was forever inscribed in the history of England, as the time of the great flourishing of the scientific, cultural, and public spheres of activity. During these years, talented painters, musicians, scientific and public figures acquainted the public with their works. Among other achievements was the camera.

In the middle of the XIX century, the pioneer of artistic photography, Oscar Gustav Reilander, introduced a new trend in photography art – pictures where the head is separated from the body. Such a result was achieved by combining negatives in the process of painstaking work in the photo workshop.

This type of mounting card was expensive. But, despite the price, it was widely used in Great Britain from the middle of the XIX century.

Such a genre in photography is called “headless portrait”, which means “headless portrait”. The increased popularity of portraits contributed to their spread outside the country of origin. In Britain itself, the portrait lost its static character, and the pictures began to depict genre scenes.

Victorian headless portrait (genre of a photoless portrait in photo art)

The demand for such images was high. Most Victorian masters, do not hesitate, offered their services and took a lot of money for them. There was a completely new industry – firms engaged in the services of creating original images.

Features images of people in a headless portrait
Reilander had many followers who made similar images of people with severed heads. On the photograph, the head is worn on a pin, lying on a dish or held by the hair. In the free hand clamped the weapon of crime.

In the XIX century, shooting at professional photographers was expensive, so men and women prepared for the event in advance, put on the best outfit and treated it as a holiday. Focused facial expression, beautiful clothes and neatly styled hair – this is what people look like in photographs of the nineteenth century.

Since that time, preserved pictures taken by William Bowles. In one of the photographs, created in 1900 and put on public display only in 2013, the servant was captured. He presents to the owners a severed head. In another portrait, made in one of the French studios, a sitter throws up severed heads.

Victorian headless portrait (genre of a photoless portrait in photo art)

The headless portrait is a vivid example of the massive use of the so-called “photoshop”. A person who has never encountered photos of this genre and accidentally saw them, may experience shock.

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