Posted 5 years ago
REPRODUCTION OF THIS IMAGE IN ANY FORM IS NOT PERMITTED.
This image is defined by the cane in the seated boy's hand. His brother has attended first communion - about age 8 - and the family has had a photographer take an image of the two brothers for the event. There is lots of interesting context in the photo - the tea rose, the pointy toed, lace-up shoes, the table. But the really noticeable thing is the sturdiness of the standing boy and the apparent frailty of the seated boy. The seated boy is wearing an amazing shirt with hand done cutwork on the frilly cuffs, collar and shirt front, while the other boy wears a simple collarless shirt. Why is this? Notice that the seated boy's legs appear thin and his whole lower body seems small and out of proportion compared to his upper torso. Maybe he is the older boy? This photo is about 1890 by the fashion. The family, a French one from Montreal, is affluent, as evidenced by the tea rose in bloom. The time is June. Perhaps this photo is also to celebrate the survival of the seated boy from polio. This was a rampant disease at this time and there was no treatment. Many died from polio. Those that survived were frail and crippled for life. What is he thinking, the seated boy, that he looks so whistfully at the camera. I find this image poignant, No matter how affluent the family, there was no refuge from polio.