Russian couple

Photographer: William Carrick studio (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Date of Photo: 1860s
Continent: Europe
Geographical Area: Central and Eastern Europe
Country: Russia
Region/Place: St. Petersburg
Cultural Group: European Russian
Format: Carte de Visite
Size: 95 x 57 mm
Acquisition: Joan Evans - Donated August 1941


Studio portrait of a Russian man and woman, a married couple, standing together as if about to embrace.

Research Notes

Research Notes - This carte de visite, otherwise unattributed, has been identified by Philip Grover as a photograph by William Carrick, the attribution being made by comparison with [1941.8.152]; note the same back wall and skirting board. Carrick's studio is described elsewhere as being located at '19 petite Morskoi', or No. 19 Malaya Morskaya [literally, '19 Little Morskaya street'], in St. Petersburg. [PG 06/02/2013]

Research Notes - William Carrick (1827-1878) was a photographer, of Scottish descent, who opened a studio at 19 Malaya Morskaya (just off Nevsky Prospect), in St. Petersburg, in 1859. He achieved some success as a commercial portrait photographer but ultimately made his name as a photographer of Russian folk scenes, both urban and rural, and of painting. '[B]y the early 1860s he had begun to print card sets of photographs of Russian "types" for sale as souvenirs. He was to continue making and adding to these for the next decade and a half. They include St Petersburg hawkers (raznoschiki) as well as other workers and peasants from both town and country. For a set of [...] such images which he had given to the liberal but sickly heir apparent, Grand Duke Nicholas, in 1862, he was presented with a diamond ring. Among those he photographed in the atelier were a boy abacus seller, a milkmaid, a cooper, a glazier, buskers, a knife-grinder, a nurseryman, a glove seller, a chimney sweep, soldiers, and various armed Caucasians in national costume. Often classically posing his models, he gained renown for his evocation of dignity in labour. [...] Carrick thus pioneered Russian ethnographic photography, and left a great legacy of hundreds of photographs': Jeremy Howard, 'Carrick, William (1827-1878)', in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online edition), http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/40413 (accessed 29 January 2013). For more information on Carrick's life and career, see Felicity Ashbee and Julie Lawson, William Carrrick, 1827-1878 (Edinburgh, 1987); Sergei Petrov, 'William Carrick and Russian Culture', translated and edited by Felicity Ashbee, Scottish Slavonic Review, 5 (1985), pp.72-87; Felicity Ashbee, 'William Carrick: A Scots Photographer in St. Petersburg, 1827-1878', History of Photography, 2/3 (1978), pp.207-222; and Felicity Ashbee, 'The Carricks of St Petersburg', in The Caledonian Phalanx: Scots in Russia (Edinburgh, 1987), pp.90-105. [Philip Grover 29/01/2013]

Research Notes - The man has been identified by Philip Grover as a 'floor-cleaner', from a captioned photograph by Carrick of the same individual in a collection elsewhere: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29482804@N06/2929923613/in/set-72157607923976531 (accessed 6 February 2013). [PG 06/02/2013]