The practice of post-mortem photography in the Victorian Era made it possible for some women to look their best until the very last moment. For today’s Memento Mori installment, lets take a look at some portraits of women who remained beautifully serene even in death.
During the Victorian Era, Memento Mori or Post-Mortem photographs were not merely snapshots documenting someone’s recent passing. They were often the very last images people would remember their deceased friends and family members by. For some families, a post-mortem photograph would even be the first and last photo of their departed loved ones.
Only the wealthy and middle class could afford to have post-mortem photos of their deceased family members, as they require a considerable sum of money for the expertise of a photographer and other artists. So, to make it count, they try to send off their dead with as much beauty and dignity as possible.
Like men, it was also common to pose women in a more life-like position by resting them on chairs or propping them up using special braces. Sometimes, eyes would also be painted or propped open. They would also be surrounded with flowers and dressed as elegantly as they would be in life.
The results? Poignant portraits that show beauty amidst death, love and longing for a departed loved one amidst sorrow and pain.
Allow us to present a gallery of carefully selected post-mortem photographs of women, beautifully serene even in death.