The Wilson Centre for Photography
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Felice Beato (English, born Italy, 1832 - 1909)
Japan (Place created)
negative 1863; print 1868
Hand-colored albumen silver print
23.4 × 18 cm (9 3/16 × 7 1/16 in.)
Partial gift from the Wilson Centre for Photography
Beato favored the hand-coloring technique for his series on domestic Japanese society. Full-length portraits, made in the studio or outdoors against a neutral background, isolated the sitters from their immediate environment and focused on their costumes and traditions. Tinting and vignetting around the image enhanced its painterly quality. This image and the one at left show the traditional armored costume of the samurai, the soldier of noble class who served the powerful rulers of Japan.