The Daguerreian Society



from The Museum of Foreign Literature, Science, and Art Vol. 14—New series / Whole number—Vol. 42 (August 1841) pg. 501.
   The original poem (from which this text was extracted) was authored by Laman Blanchard, and appeared along with two illustrations by George Cruikshank in the No. 1 (May 1841) issue of George Cruikshank's Omnibus (London: Tilt and Bogue, 1841) pg. 29-31. (We will eventually offer the original text and illustrations. —Gary W. Ewer 4-2-97)


Photographic Phenomena

From a witty contribution on Photographic Phenomena, we take a sketch of the new style of portrait painting and of its effect upon the sitters:

Apollo, whom Drummond of Hawthornden styled
            "Apelles of flowers,"
            Now mixes his showers
Of sunshine, with colours by clouds undefiled;
Apelles indeed to man, woman, and child,
His agent on earth, when your attitude's right,
Your collar adjusted, your locks in their place,
Just seizes one moment of favouring light,
And utters three sentences—"now it's begun,"—
"It's going on now, sir,"—and "Now it is done;"
And lo! As I live, there's the cut of your face
            On a silvery plate,
            Unerring as fate,
Worked off in celestial and strange mezzotint,
A little resembling an elderly print.
"Well, I never! All cry; "it is cruelly like you!
          But Truth is unpleasant
          To prince and to peasant.
You recollect Lawrence, and think of the graces
That Chalon and Company give to their faces;
The face you have worn fifty year doesn't strike you!

The Criticism of the Sitters.

"Can this be me! Do look, mamma!"
Poor Jane begins to whimper;
"I have a smile, 'tis true;—but, pa!
This gives me quite a simper.

Says Tibb, whose plays are worse than bad,
  "It makes my forehead flat;
And being classical, he'll add,
  "I'm blow'd if I'm like that."

Courtly, all candour, owns his portrait true;
"Oh, yes, it's like; yes, very; it will do.
Extremely like me—every feature—but
That plain pug-nose; now mine's the Grecian cut!"

Her grace surveys her face with drooping lid;
Prefers the portrait which Sir Thomas did;
Owns that o'er this some traits of truth are sprinkled;
But views the brow with anger—"Why it's wrinkled!"
"Like me!" cries Sir Turtle; "I'll lay two to one
    It would only be guess'd at by my foes;
No, no, it is plain there are spots in the sun,
    Which accounts for these spots on my nose."

"A likeness!" cries Crosslook, the lawyer, and sneers;
    "Yes, the wig, throat, and forehead I spy,
And the mouth, chin, and cheeks, and the nose and the ears,
    But it gives me a cast in the eye!"

(End of text. Please refer to our textnote regarding this text.)

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