Edgar Allan Poe in Daguerreotypes

Brown_University_Library
Daguerreotype by William Hartshorn, 1848
Brown University Library
Anon, Portrait of Edgar Allan Poe, late May - early June 1849, J. Paul Getty Museum-a
Anonymous daguerreotype, May-June 1849
J. Paul Getty Museum
Anon, Portrait of Edgar Allan Poe, late May - early June 1849, J. Paul Getty Museum-b
detail

The familiar image of Edgar Allan Poe is vouchsafed us almost entirely through the medium of daguerreotypy. The pioneering American author sat for several portraits in his later life, which coincided with the dominance of Daguerre’s process. The Brown daguerreotype was made at the end of “a tumultuous week which included an overdose of laudanum and a bout of heavy drinking.” Poe died in 1849, just four months after the Getty daguerreotype was taken. Poe was not only the first great American author to attempt to live by writing alone, but the first whose photographic representation made him a visual as well as a literary icon.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Edgar Allan Poe in Daguerreotypes”

  1. And not only did he invent several literary genres but he has seldom been bettered in any of them. Nice post!

  2. Dylan Thomas Hayden Says:

    Oh, completely agreed. Poe is one of our guiding lights here at Tigerloaf. Thanks for your comment!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: