Hans Christian Andersen, c 1865.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 26cm x 32cm

Hans Christian Andersen, c 1865.


© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


A carte-de-visite portrait of Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875), taken by an unknown photographer in about 1865. Andersen, born in Denmark, is best known for his popular fairy tales which combined traditional folk legends with his own imagination. 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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