Photographic portrait of a lady in a fine dress, holding a book. Brisbane, 1862-65.
Albumen print photograph, carte de visite format, 103 x 63 mm, verso with studio imprint of J. Watson, Photographer, Queen-street, Brisbane; the albumen print has a couple of light surface marks (but what appears to be a stain at upper left is in fact simply the dark section of the painted backdrop and a shadow on the curtain!); the mount has some wear at bottom margin recto, and some marks verso.
A beautifully composed studio portrait by John Watson, one of Brisbane’s most important pioneer photographers. As early as 1855 Watson had been appointed manager of the Brisbane branch of Thomas Glaister’s prestigious Sydney firm. From 1860 he spent two years in Sydney, where he worked with James Walker. On his return to Brisbane in 1862 he established a business under his own name in Queen Street. This portrait would have been taken relatively soon after Watson opened this studio. The wealthy sitter’s hairstyle and dress date it firmly to the early 1860s.