Light from the Window
Sixth plate daguerreotype, anonymous American ca. 1855, post-mortem view of young girl. Housed in full case with split spine and some wear. ( Inventory# ia492 )
One's eye is drawn to a mysterious light source out of focus, to the left beyond the "sleeping" child. Is it a window pane opening to the outside world? If so, it almost appears that we can distinguish waving tree branches, and patches of bright sunlight shining through. The sitter seems to be in a room in her own home, a place she would have moved about in frequently. Another small detail, the choice of case is significant; it is embossed with a delicate birds, butterflies and flowers design that certainly would have delighted the sitter during life, here chosen as a memorial for her image in death.
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