6/28/2008

Photo of the week - Rosy, 1912

























Date: 1912
Photographer: Unknown
Sitter: Rosy
Provenience: Prague, the Czech republic

This photograph is only identified by the hand-writing in ink on the back of the card - a card in the form of a post-card. It says 'Rosy - Prag. 12 Mai 1912'. 'Prag' is the German spelling of Prague, the capital of the Czech republic, but back then it was 'just' another big city in the Austrian-Hungarian empire. Still, it was a very important cultural city. There is no reason to believe that the sitter is not the so called Rosy, and that it is not the date and place of when the photo was taken. The clothes she is wearing is also consistent with such a date, and the photo was bought in Prague which makes it reasonable that it has something to do with the place.

Doing personal photos into post-cards was quite a common thing at the beginning of the last century (and long before and after that time). They were made to send out to friends and family and quite popular.

The photo has some unusual qualities, both with her pose and her smile - it was not usual to smile at photos at this time, still. It was an inheritance from the good old days when dental hygiene left much to wish for and people in general did not have very bright smiles - and perhaps not even all teeth there.

Rosy is dressed according to the highest fashion at the time, dark colours (she is in all probability not in mourning) and a very tight skirt - a skirt not to meant to work in, and not even to walk any long distances in any kind of speed in. They were meant to high-lighten the slim and well-shaped body of the perfect female figure, this woman not too far away from the intended ideal in all probability. She also wears a dark pearl-necklace and a bracelet in some kind of metal. It is impossible to see if she is wearing any rings. The photo is taken in a studio, with the popular backdrop that was supposed to make the photo look like it was taken outdoors - with perhaps not the most spectacular of successes.

No comments: