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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • FLY TO THE CARIBBEAN BY CLIPPER, c. 1950s

Bella Donna: 1900

Bella Donna: 1900

Circa 1900. "Model, hair loose." Previously seen here in the guises of Thisbe and Amorita. 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

 

Jane Doe

As far as I'm concerned, she is Everywoman.

Belladonna

In Italian, a beautiful lady; in English, a deadly poison. A striking example of the essential identity of the two tongues.

-- Ambrose Bierce

Natural beauty

I agree that this portrait does not showcase her beauty as much as Thisbe, but that was a very artistic shot. This one looks more like the photographer said, "Hurry and change and just hold the drape around you. Let's just get one shot totally natural." How many of today's glamour girls would look this good if photographed in this manner?

Just playing around with

Just playing around with some a coloring PS plug in.

A muse in an atelier

An Art Nouveau stunner, right down to the embroidered silk wrap. Back before the days of airbrushing and Photoshop, there were these gorgeous images of young women, in all their real, human, fleshly grace. Thank you for preserving this one.

I wonder if she ever became a grandmother. I can imagine her looking at this portrait as an octogenarian, saying, "Wasn't I a dish?"

Tilt

It's like the photographer kept telling her to tilt her chin up more and she just said "FINE" and went all the way. Each time. It's less apparent in Thisbe, but this must be her signature pose?

Lovely

What a lovely woman. The perspiration on her upper lip and chin is adorable. No artifice, just a gorgeous woman in a gorgeous photograph.

You may be happy that

she doesn't drop that wrap and show more rolls in that three roll tummy. Not someone (regardless of tummy rolls) that I would find very attractive in this shot without her makeup and the softening filter used in the others.

Gee, people can be cruel

Reminds me a bit of pictures taken of Evelyn Nesbit.
No, they weren't all fantastic: but some were.

A nice return

It is pleasant to see this model's return. I do think all of her photos should be in pretty girls.

Paul A, in the early 20th century there was a movement to treat photography as an art similar to painting. If you look around this website you will find many arty shots like this.

She takes your breath away.

What a lovely lady. Timeless beauty.

"Model, hair loose" - Meaning What?

Especially circa 1900, the word "loose" had overtones of sexual promiscuity.

[It means her hair is loose. - Dave]

Just the facts ma'am

This looks too much like a police evidence photo. The lighting/shadows makes me think she was hit in the mouth and right eye.

"Just asking"

Are there pustules around her mouth? Just asking.

[Perspiration. - Dave]

Shorpy's Prima Donna

Her looks, but more importantly her sensuality transcends the last 100+ years. Without a doubt, by whatever name, she wins the Shorpy pinup award. Perhaps it is best we don't know her real name as it might spoil the illusion. Sigh.

Yes! Acute Angle!

This and the linked photos made me think that our modern glamour ad photos on the bus stops and other ads aren't so contemporary. Then again I haven't seen very many of this style of portrait during this period other than the European blue photos. Lovely!

My Judgement

If we're having a contest here, Thisbe wins.

Good bones

I don't know who she is but she has lovely collarbones and shoulders.

Not her best shot

The lighting muddles the lower half of her face. Her hair is glorious while her eyes grieve.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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