[Turkish Woman, 18 Years Old, Born in Pitesci (Romania)]
Charles-Albert Arnoux Bertall (French, Paris 1820–1882 Paris)
Cyanotype from glass negative
Sheet: 28.3 x 22.2 cm (11 1/8 x 8 3/4 in.) Image: 19 x 12.7 cm (7 1/2 x 5 in.)
Purchase, Saundra B. Lane Gift, 2009
Not on view
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.
Inscription: Inscribed in the negative: "S.E. 44 // 1881"
[David Winter, New York]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Naked before the Camera," March 27, 2012–September 9, 2012.