Vignette portrait of a Young Boy, 1850s


Vignette portrait of a Young Boy by Jeremiah Gurney, ca. 1852-57

For all its magical veracity, the daguerreotype lacked color. Since customers often preferred their likenesses to have color, handcolorists added blues, greens, yellows, browns, and whites. They often highlighted faces with a touch of rouge, as seen in this portrait of a cherubic infant. The daguerreotypist Jeremiah Gurney vignetted the boy’s head and shoulders, which causes him to appear to float in the frame.

source: Getty Museum

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