Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

JULIA DRIVER ON LIZZIE CASWALL-SMITH

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This is entry #45 in our 100 Philosophers, 100 Artworks, 100 Words Series.

Philosopher: Julia Driver, Washington University at St. Louis

Words: This is a portrait of a baby holding beads, undated, by Lizzie Caswall-Smith.  She was active as a photographer in London, England, c. 1900-1929.  She became famous for her portraits of celebrities and politicians, though I particularly admire her portraits of children.  Here the technique is impressive.  The soft-focus around the edges of the clothing create a frame internal to the image.  The three-quarters shot catches the baby engaged with something outside the scope of the image.  The detail in the lace is beautifully captured, yet does not at all overwhelm the central feature of the image, the baby’s face.

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