Wednesday, July 25, 2012
In the Victorian era, photography was in it's infancy. Exposures took many minutes, the equipment was heavy and awkward, and developing took many harsh chemicals. But, it was a novelty, and often something that was treasured for many years. A single photo could be the pride of a family. And, with traveling photographers only coming around so often, families siezed the chance to take photos.
So, out of this culture came postmortem photography. The dead were posed, either with or without living family members, to form a memento. This was often the only picture of the dead. Many were posed in lifelike positions, either propped up with pillows, "sleeping", or held in position with detailed stands.
While to us, this seems kind of gruesome, this was simply a way of remembering the dead.