Amelie Rives, Princess Troubetzkoy

Pierre Troubetzkoy American, born Russia
Printer Alvin Langdon Coburn British, born United States

Not on view

This photograph should be seen as a collaboration: Troubetzkoy, a Russian portrait painter, took the picture; his wife, Amélie, a novelist and playwright from a prominent Virginia family, posed for it; and Alvin Langdon Coburn (1882-1966) printed it.

Coburn, who had accompanied Amélie's sister, the amateur photographer Landon Rives, to the Rives family estate at Castle Hill, where he met Troubetzkoy, transformed the straightforward image into a Pictorialist composition in the darkroom, deliberately increasing the foreground shadow and allowing the soft focus to create a palpable sense of atmosphere. Such techniques proclaim Coburn's membership in the Photo-Secession, a turn-of-the-century association of avant-garde photographers founded by Alfred Stieglitz. The group was devoted to establishing its medium's place among the fine arts by creating exquisitely crafted, painterly, singular prints—a goal Coburn achieved here using the graphic strength of Troubetzkoy's portrait as a starting point.

Amelie Rives, Princess Troubetzkoy, Pierre Troubetzkoy (American (born Russia), 1864–1936), Gum bichromate over platinum print

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.