Betto (Groom)

Object Details

Title:

Betto (Groom)

Artist/Maker(s):

Felice Beato (English, born Italy, 1832 - 1909)

Culture:

British

Place(s):

Japan (Place created)

Date:

1868

Medium:

Hand-colored albumen silver print

Dimensions:

23 x 16.5 cm (9 1/16 x 6 1/2 in.)

Credit Line:

Partial gift from the Wilson Centre for Photography

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Holding a harness while standing in front of a saddle--attributes associated with the duties of a betto (groom)--this elaborately decorated man stands with his tattooed back to the camera. An expensive undertaking, the tattoos were acquired over an extended period. Hand coloring allowed Beato to reproduce the tones of the tattoo that the camera was not able to capture. A study of similar photographs of this subject reveals that, in some cases, the colorists, in fact, created the tattoos.

Provenance

The Wilson Centre for Photography LLC

Exhibitions
Felice Beato: A Photographer on the Eastern Road (December 7, 2010 to May 6, 2012)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 7, 2010 to April 24, 2011
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, (Chiyoda-Kn, Tokyo), March 6 to May 6, 2012