Carbon print on a ruled mount
Image: 40 x 30.5 cm (15 3/4 x 12 in.)
Gift of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg 2021.57
This image is an allegory, not a portrait.
The woman wears the costume of, and personifies, the province of Alsace near the Franco-German border, where French photographer Adolphe Braun had his studio. The museum also owns Braun’s allegory of Lorraine (Woman in Lorraine Dress, 1999.109). After France lost the Franco-Prussian war, it had to yield most of Alsace and one-quarter of Lorraine to Prussia (now Germany) in 1871. While allegorical, these images were also personal for Braun and many Frenchmen, and often seen together as a pair.
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