Here is what you see on caricature-this not creativity craftsmen modern art, not work in Qualify to on Halloween and not some muddy project, with gossamer socio-philosophical underpinning. This is just the opposite: a completely household genre of family photography, very popular among the inhabitants (though only in the UK), in the second half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The name of this wonderful genre of "Victorian headless portraits", or just "headless portrait". In such photographs, the head of the model or models is separated from the body, often the sitter himself holds it in his hands. And by the way, one small elegant moment: although this genre has fixed the name of "headless portrait", but just the head in the photo is always present, although separately from the body and the body here, just, at the same time may be absent. But still - "headless". Oh well. There are more ridiculous names.
And we, actually, about the family hobby of good old England. And it all started around 1858, when the British photographer of Swedish origin Oscar Gustav Reylander came up with a new trend — photos in which the human head is separated from the body. The effect was achieved by combining negatives-roughly speaking installation. And it didn't start with dark jokes, but with religious photography. Reylander's first and one of His most successful shots in this genre was "the Head of St. John the Baptist on a platter" — an imprint made from two negatives.
Actually Reylander himself was a quiet and devout man and originally took pictures on a religious theme. So one day, walking through the city, he saw a gentleman in the street and realized that his head is, without any doubt, the head of John the Baptist, cut off by order of Herod Antipas and presented by Salome to his mother-the Jewish Princess Herodias. Then he mustered his courage for months before he asked the noble gentleman to lend him his head, and then for years he persuaded him. And when the gentleman decided that it was easier to give than to listen every day to pleas and stories about his participation in the great project for the glory of God, he agreed. The photo was taken, exhibited with part of other religious frames and was so loved by the inhabitants that they began to ask photographers to do something similar with them. Thus, from the first similar family and personal shots about any religious background it wasn't a question. But Reylander continued to shoot a religious series. Truth so its and not graduated. PH banal aged and died, not having time to finish all their worldly Affairs. But after some time, or rather in February 1869, Queen Victoria bought 22 photos of the series, including this one.
Actually, that's "Head of John the Baptist" and a wave of Headless portraits. There were hundreds of them-which is a very serious figure for that time. Plus, now there are separate Museum collections, and not so long ago there was a loud falsification — the so-called story of "Buckley family Photos". According to a well-established urban legend, neighborhood children decided to make stuffed people for Halloween in 1890. So, the alleged children, Susan and John Buckley, somehow got carried away and killed their own mother. And then the children themselves mysteriously disappeared and now roam like ghosts through the old quarter, but there was this picture, allegedly taken by a child who came for candy to the Buckley house. And Mrs. Buckley's body was found later, half eaten. That's it. Well, under the legend, and was launched this duck. Then it was found that the photo is not related to a specific story, it is-the standard and typical "headless portrait", but made in 2006. The author of the installation was Eddie Allen and he then even published a scan from the original positive, where the children are presented without an axe, and miss Buckley with his head on his shoulders. In General - in this history all bored.
What I find more interesting is why There were headless portraits at all. What should be going on in the minds of people to totally remove themselves and hang in the living room in this form? And why only in the UK?
After all, any visualization is based on some very clear reasons. Psychological, social, civilizational. But I haven't found anything yet. And reasons be owe they something and there is most interesting across this history with pictures, where people themselves themselves beheaded and then admired.