'Tennyson', 1861.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 21cm x 32cm

'Tennyson', 1861.


© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society


A carte-de-visite portrait of Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892), taken by an unknown photographer in 1861 and published by Gindall & Co of New Bond Street, London. Tennyson was the most popular poet of the Victorian period. He was made Queen Victoria's poet laureate in 1850. A carte-de-visite is a photograph mounted on a piece of card the size of a formal visiting card of the 1850s - hence the name. The format was introduced by the French photographer Andre-Adolphe-Eugene Disderi (1819-1889) in 1854. As well as family portraits, commercial cartes of celebrities such as politicians, royalty and popular personalities were published. The craze for collecting celebrity cartes-de-visite in albums reached its peak during the 1860s but the format remained popular until the beginning of the twentieth century. The backs of cartes-de-visite were normally printed with the photographer's name and address.



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