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Alexander Ledingham Portrait

Historic Photographs
David Oswald
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Historic Photographs Details
This portrait of a woman is also by Alexander Ledingham of Rosemount. The photographer's stamp is present in the bottom right corner. The woman is standing by a chair that can be seen in other Ledingham portraits so this was obviously a recurrent prop. The painted backdrop in this picture suggests the setting of a large estate house.

The subject of the photograph wears a rather serious expression which was the convention in 19th and early 20th century photography. This was a continuation of the tradition of painted portraiture and suggested the stature and respectability of the subject. The great American writer Mark Twain wrote, "A photograph is a most important document, and there is nothing more damning to go down to posterity than a silly, foolish smile caught and fixed forever." Stillness was also required due to the exposure times of early photography.
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