A Study From Life

A Study From Life

Photographic historian Christian Peterson points out in his volume The Quiet Landscapes of William B. Post (2005 -The Minneapolis Institute of Arts) that A Study from Life was Post’s first published work. It was….“reproduced in green presumably because of its outdoor setting, (and) shows a well-attired woman in a stand of trees, which seem to physically support her while creating an effective frame. The image typifies the kind of portraits and figure studies Post was making at the time.” (p. 13)

Editorial Comment for this plate:


THE charming figure composition which embellishes this issue of the PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES is a picture that attracted considerable attention in the recent exhibition of members of the Society of Amateur Photographers of New York. It is from a negative by W. B. Post, an amateur of this city; and while fully exposed, is rather thin for producing the best results in photogravure. In order to make the best effects in a copper-plate photo-engraving a negative should be full of detail, and possess, beside, a fair amount of intensity. We speak of this now and at this place for the benefit of those especially who may be making negatives for reproduction in photogravure. “A Study from Life” is a fine example of portraiture out-of-doors. The charm of this picture is largely due, of course, to the beauty of the original, but there is a lesson in it for all in the posing of the figure and the management of the accessories. (p. 25)

The subject of this photograph bears a resemblance to the photographer’s future wife, Mary Webster Weston. (1866-1957) The couple were married in Fryeburg, Maine on October 1, 1901.

A Study From Life

Image Dimensions20.1 x 15.2 cm Published as frontis plate for January 18, 1889 issue

Support Dimensions28.6 x 20.5 cm