Friday, August 3, 2012

Post-Mortem Photography

This practice was very popular at the end of the 19th century and still produced into the 20th century.

It was a way to remember the diseased. They were photographed as if they were alive and awake or sometimes asleep. What today it's seen as creepy and disrespectful, then it was seen as a tribute to their loved ones, who were usually children, due to the high mortality rates in the Victorian era. Pets were also photographed. 

File:Victorian era post-mortem family portrait of parents with their deceased daughter.jpg

File:Postmortem man.jpg




  1. I'm not easy to scare, but I have to admit that post mortem photographies can creep the shit outta me.

  2. I don't think it is creepy, I think PM photos are beautiful :)

  3. Strange that they were allowed to do this. Maybe it helped with their grief... great site by the way...

  4. this is how many dealt with the passing of a loved one...
    often a lock of hair was kept....

  5. Memento Mori photography is a subject I have researched well. I did a few posts on this subject in a forum I quit about a year ago, and started a slide show video featuring the song "Boy and the Ghost." I worked on it all night and went to save it - only to find out it didn't save! I guess that should teach me not to torrent software.

    Ever notice how family is posing in a lot of the photos? It was in a lot of cases the only chance to have a photo of their self in those days. Sometimes the photographer had to come from far away, and it cost quite a bit.

  6. My family does not photograph the deceased as though he or she is alive, but we do photograph the deceased in the casket. Like anything else, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.