What a natty chappy: Victor Hugo (1802-1885)
Victor was a French poet, novelist and at the forefront of the Romantic Literary Movement. I spotted this photo of him on display on the Ferry over to France.
It got me thinking, how did photographers direct their sitters when photography was new. Invented in 1835, Victor would have been 33 before he had his first opportunity to have his photograph taken.
In the photo above we can clearly see his hands. In art hands were the most difficult thing to get right and portrait painters would charge a lot more if people wanted their hands visible in their portrait. For some people this was a way of showing off their wealth with both of their hands visible. With photography hands were going to be easy to capture and get right so perhaps in the early days of photography showing of your hands was a nod back to the painters.
Over the decades you can see that Victor had a bit of fun with this. Wonder what his photographer was saying to him.
What are your views on showing your hands in your portrait image?
Do you like it or not?