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Napoleon III and the Prince Imperial
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This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.

Pierre-Louis Pierson
French, about 1859
Albumen print, from a wet-collodion-on-glass negative
8 1/4 x 6 5/16 in.
84.XM.705.1

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The Prince Imperial, son of Napoleon III, sits strapped securely into a seat on his horse's back, a model subject for the camera. An attendant at the left steadies the horse so that the little prince remains picture-perfect in the center of the backdrop erected for the photograph. The horse stands upon a rug that serves as a formalizing element, making the scene appear more regal. The Emperor Napoleon III himself stands off to the right in perfect profile, supervising the scene with his dog and forming a framing mirror-image of the horse and attendant on the other side.

Pierre-Louis Pierson placed his camera far enough back from the Prince to capture the entire scene and all the players, but this was not the version sold as a popular carte-de-visite. The carte-de-visite image was cropped so that only the Prince upon his horse was visible.