Paper: 40.8 x 29 cm (16 1/16 x 11 7/16 in.); Matted: 66 x 55.9 cm (26 x 22 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1999.109
This portrait depicting an ethnic type and costume—a woman from the Lorraine region—was probably made around 1871, when the Franco-Prussian War resulted in the loss of the French regions of Alsace and Lorraine to Germany. The image would have resonated with emotion and political sentiment as well as folkloric interest for 19th-century viewers. Braun’s photography firm, one of the world’s largest at the time, was part entrepreneurial endeavor, part artist’s atelier. To remain competitive, he experimented with the latest technical innovations. This print’s exquisite detail and subtle tonal range are due to Braun’s use of a new carbon printing process.
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