An incredible find and a piece of Black American History! It was once one of the most popular portrait styles. Between the years of 1880 and 1920's the convex glass portraits were considered very fashionable. While it was a complicated process, it came with added costs making this type of portrait a luxury. Portraits before photography were personal paintings.
By 1880, once the early technical hurdles had been overcome, portrait photographers began experimenting with color. Photographers would personally tint or employ artists to tint photographers by hand. Between 1880 and 1940, is the period when this type of convex portrait was prevalent. To produce this type of convex portraits required a complicated process that was more expensive to produce. This type of portrait was considered a luxury.
Because of the nature of the curved glass, the photographs are set in oval frames. Generally the most common subject matter that was produced in a convex style was the family portrait, often more serious in nature and produced on a smaller size scale - making this particular photo again unique in both its size and subject matter. In order to fit the portraits to the convex glass, they were printed on a very thin material and often copied from tintypes. To make the photographs more enhanced, the photographers would use charcoal to fill in the photos to add clarity and precision and could then add color to recreate a realistic visual.
This particular portrait has been tinted by hand, bringing to life the gentleman and allowing the observer to have a better understanding of the color and textures of the period. On the backside of the actual photo are the notes made by the photographer regarding coloration and the added cost for this photo. As mentioned above, this was considered a luxury and to have a portrait of this nature and this type of frame put together was extremely expensive for the period and generally only commissioned by wealthy families. While I have no specifics as to who this young man was or whether he or perhaps his family commissioned to have this portrait made I have no doubt there is a fascinating story behind this photo and the handsome young man captured in the portrait! This is a unique find!
A true treasure and valuable piece of photographic history as well as Black American history as this type of photo/ portrait was an exception during the period it was produced. This is the original frame - it is metal with a tin backing! An exceptional photo- a beautiful piece of art & American history! This item is in the category "Collectibles\Photographic Images\Photographs". The seller is "zarasmuse2219" and is located in this country: US.
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