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Carriage with Figures
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Jean-Gabriel Eynard
French, 1849
Daguerreotype
4 5/16 x 5 3/4 in.
84.XT.255.9

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Ready for the start of a summer family outing, two hatless young women perch in the rumble seat at the back of this carriage, a landau. More sedately, the older ladies inside the carriage wear bonnets since the top has been lowered. Because the horses fidgeted during the exposure, their heads are blurred, preventing the ensemble of figures, carriage, and horses from becoming a completely static silhouette against the facade of the house.

The dramatic drop from the grassy foreground into blackness makes the entire scene appear as though it occurred on some kind of elaborate stage set. Eynard was well acquainted with stage design. Inside this house was a private theater, and on another occasion he brought the theater's painted sets outside to be photographed.