Self-Portrait in the Garden
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Hippolyte Bayard
French, 1847
Salt print
6 1/2 x 4 13/16 in.

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One of several self-portraits by amateur gentleman photographer Hippolyte Bayard in the Getty Museum's Collection, this example presents Bayard as a man of the middle class. Although not dressed to plunge his hands in the earth, he looks at home in his garden, surrounded by the commonplace tools of the trade: a barrel, a rustic vase, empty terracotta pots, a watering can, a ladder, and a trellis. The beginning of a vine adorns the trellis and new growth appears at his feet, both of which suggest a new season for the garden as well as the gardener. His confident, proud stance suggests that Bayard was also a gentleman gardener very keen to identify himself with his pastime.