Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Memento Mori

In 1839 the daguerreotype (the first publicly announced way to take photos) was invented. This made portraiture more common, since it gave people a cheaper alternative to painted portraits. With this invention another thing that became very common in the 19th century was post-mortem photography - Memento Mori. Death was quite an ordinary part of life, that often occurred in the home. If a child died, the parents often didn't have any photos of him or her yet, and so rather got a post-mortem photo of the child than not having a picture to remember him/her from at all. This was also often the case with adults or old people who passed away. The later invention of the carte de visite allowed multiple prints to be made from one single negative, so copies could be sent to relatives. This practice died out in the beginning of the 20th century as "snapshot" photography became commonplace. Here are now a few of these memento mori photos of deceased loved ones, often "posing" with the family members that now had to live on without them...

The last picture shows how the dead bodies are held up in a standing position in the photos.

1 comment:

  1. These are so cool...freaky...but super cool. Shame the concept has gone now really. Very sad that it was also used to take pictures for post-mortem...shame. I hope you have a great day doll <3 xxxxx


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