Memento Mori – The Victorian Post Mortem Photo

This one breaks my heart two different ways:

https://louisianadigitallibrary.org/islandora/object/oplib-pho%3A462

The first, because this little girl is unidentified. The second, I suspect it is what is called a Memento Mori photo. They were very common in the Victorian era.

Think about it. Photography was very expensive and you had to sit very still for one. It was very rare that you would get into town to have one made. Lets say a loved one died and you had no photo to remember them by. A photographer would then be hired to come and take a “likeness” of them for the family to keep before the person was buried forever. Sometimes they did touch-ups and colorized the photo to make it more life-like! What is creepy today, was a cherished item then. Rest in peace sweet little girl. This was probably the only photo ever taken of her.

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