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Street Musicians
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Camille Silvy
French, about 1855
Albumen print
11 x 8 3/4 in.
85.XM.516

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Camille Silvy photographed these juvenile street musicians outside the door of his studio in Porchester Terrace, London. They are dressed shabbily, not quite in rags; each holds his instrument, a hurdy-gurdy. The seated one scowls at the camera, looking pained, and the standing one eyes the photographer warily. Their position on the outside of the looming open gate suggests that the children are excluded; they belong on the far side of the walls, not inside them. The atmospheric rendering of the distance also separates the harshly drawn boys in the foreground from the soft interior.