Category: text

A short note on photography and reposts

Long-time followers may have noticed I occasionally repost the same pictures, sometimes months or years apart.

The way I work on this blog is simple: I try and find good paintings by women that are in the public domain*, then I upload then here, always with a link back to the source. I occasionally crop the images (when frames are shown in the original pictures for instance) but I never alter them in any other way. What this means is that the quality of the painting you get here is pretty much always the same as the original photography of said painting. Whenever a picture comes up for auction, it will be photographed again. Some pictures, inevitably, will be better than others, and that will occasionally warrant a repost from me.

Sometimes new information will come up as well. The first time I posted the portrait of the lady in black above, Uppsala Auktionskammare called it, quite simply, “Portrait of a young woman in black”. When it was up for auction again about ten months later in Stockholm, though, the sitter was identified as follows: “Portrait of baroness Catharina Eleonora Fredrika Märta Sparre (1832-1912), at the age of 21″.

And sometimes the same auctions houses will just take new pictures of artworks. “Bathsheba at her Bath” by Artemisia Gentileschi was sold at least twice by Sotheby’s, once in 2014 and once quite recently. I’ll let you be the judge of which picture is best.

Let this be a reminder to all of us never to assume we’ve “seen” a painting until we have actually been in the same room with it. We’re all looking at the invisible work of photographers here.

*As an aside, the law in the US as far as copyright goes, states that if a two-dimensional work of art is in the public domain, then a faithful photographic image of said work of art is also in the public domain.

Links to the original posts: