Interpretive Resource

Turning the Pages: Madame B Album, 1870s

Turning the Pages: Madame B Album, 1870s

The practice of cutting up photographs and placing them into new watercolor compositions was common among aristocratic classes in the Victorian era.

This album of over one hundred pages of watercolors and collaged photographs may have been made by Marie-Blanche-Hennelle Fournier, the wife of a French diplomat stationed in Sweden. With portraits of her family and social circle and photographs of important places in her travels—all linked by whimsical and sometimes surreal fantastic painted elements—the album functions as a travelogue, a collective self-portrait, and a display showcase for the maker’s education and artistic talents.

portraits, Victorian, watercolor

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