This volume explores the broad social and cultural context for the development of portrait photography in the 19th century, showing how social and celebrity portraiture on the one hand, and scientific photography on the other, were different facets of the 19th-century fascination with classification and ordering. Between 1860 and 1900, editions of celebrity portraits, as well as the vogue for the "carte de visite", fuelled the fashion for collecting and classifying photographs of the face. In an age of rapid industrialization and the growth of the middle classes, the carte de visite became a means of conferring social status, and family albums - which often incorporated photographs of royalty and public figures - were used to position family members within society at large. Photographic portraiture's rapid rise to popularity encouraged its diffusion to other spheres, and the portrait photograph was adopted by the new sciences and technologies to provide empirical evidence for theories of evolution, phrenology, racial types, insanity and criminality. A system of scrutiny or "surveillance" of the face emerged. "The Beautiful and the Damned", which accompanies a major show at the National Portrait Gallery, London, is a significant addition to an important new area of photographic history. Illustrated with over 100 black-and-white images, the book also provides a comprehensive visual insight into the genre and features work by key figures such as Oscar Rejlander, Bassano, Eugene Atget and Julia Margaret Cameron.
Hardback in very good condition. Save for some minor creasing of dustjacket around corner of edge of front cover, the book is virtually like new. Binding sound and pages all clean and unmarked.