Image: 11 x 8 cm (4 5/16 x 3 1/8 in.)
Mount: 18 x 12.8 cm (7 1/16 x 5 1/16 in.)
Frame: 62.2 x 52.1 cm (24 1/2 x 20 1/2 in.) (Framed with FI.21.3, .4, .2)
Espace Photo Arthur Batut - Labruguière - France, Archives Departementales Du Tarn
Not on view
For Batut, an accomplished amateur photographer who took up composite portraiture after reading about it in the French science journal La Nature, the technique held the tantalizing possibility of capturing an abstracted image of ideal beauty. He pursued this idea in a series of typological portraits of women from various locales near his hometown of Labruguière, in southwestern France. Each composite, he believed, distills the physiognomic essence of its region: the delicate features of the arlésienne reveal “a soul happy to live under the beautiful Provençal sky” while the firm features of the women from the Mediterranean port of Agde indicate “an indomitable will that no obstacle will weaken.”
Per two letters from 2001 addressed to the President of the Assocation of Musée Arthur Batut from Arthur Batut's descendants, the Musée Arthur Batut assumed responsibility for the objects in their collection. [See copies in file]
Reproduced in Serge Negre and Sylvie Desachy, "Arthur Batut: Regards d'un Humaniste Photographe (1846-1918)," (Toulouse: Privat, 2008), p. 95.