Southworth and Hawes were two important figures in early portraiture. This selection of their work is indicative to much of the early portrait work at this time, with minimal background, similar lighting and staging, and the indirect gaze of the subject.
The owned a firm in Boston and worked in the daguerreotype process, as you can see with each of the above images. Later on, I will show some of their more experimental work - but I wanted to share these particular portraits first.
Lola Montez in 1851, daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes.
Irish dancer and actress who became famous as a “Spanish dancer”, courtesan, and mistress of King Ludwig I of Bavaria, who made her Countess of Landsfeld
“The photograph is literally an emanation of the referent. From a real body, which was there, proceed radiations which ultimately touch me, who am here; the duration of the transmission is insignificant; the photograph of the missing being, as Sontag says, will touch me like the delayed rays of a star.”
Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections of Photography