Courtyard with Painters

late 1860s
Image: 28.4 x 38.6 cm (11 3/16 x 15 3/16 in.); Matted: 50.8 x 61 cm (20 x 24 in.)
Location: not on view
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This photographer inventively expanded the medium to create a rare example of both early genre (everyday life) photography and documentation of artists at work. The collodion negative captured a wealth of detail. The French village courtyard bustles with activity-the artist in the foreground hugs a squirming child and chats with his wife; a group of peasant women in the background heave huge bundles of laundry about in carts and baskets; and an innkeeper poses proudly for the camera outside his ivy-covered establishment. The diagonals of the sloping roofs and the textures of tiles, wood, and stone enhance the composition's visual interest. A luminous glow, absorbed by open canvas umbrellas, pervades the center of the scene.
Courtyard with Painters

Courtyard with Painters

late 1860s

France(?), 19th century

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