Charles Albert, vicomte d’Arnoux, who called himself Bertall, was a caricaturist, writer, and illustrator for popular novels and newspapers. His skill in styling concise literary characterizations translated readily into a career as a portrait photographer. These photographs were commissioned by the Société d’Ethnographie, a club of amateur ethnographers, for their publication Collection Anthropologique. While the impassive poses rehearse conventions favored at the time by scientists, the staging of the photographs in a domestic space gives the pictures an unusual intimacy. The slight blur created by the woman’s movement and the hue of the cyanotype process further intensify the mood.