I-73197.1 | Merchant of Venice composite, Montreal, QC, 1872

 
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Photograph
Merchant of Venice composite, Montreal, QC, 1872
William Notman (1826-1891)
1872, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on paper - Albumen process
17 x 12 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
I-73197.1
© McCord Museum
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Keywords:  Art (2774) , composite (312) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

The Art Department took all the separate photographs, cut them out carefully and pasted them on to a background on which they painted the architectural details of the scene. The window, the throne, the wall behind the group and the box on the floor, all sprang from the Art Department's collective imagination. Can you find Miss Lusher, Miss Cartier and Master MacPherson?

Composites have often been criticized as being "fake" but this is not entirely the case. The scene could not have been taken where and when it actually happened and the only way to show it was to re-create it. This performance by pupils of the Montreal High School did take place on April 1-2 1872, and Miss Lusher received particularly high praise in the newspaper reviews.

Source : In the Eye of the Camera [Web tour], by Nora Hague, McCord Museum (see Links)