Portrait of a Gentleman (Main View)

M.A. Root

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

This image of a well-dressed man reveals special attention to the traditional guidelines for good portraiture. He stands straight in a three-quarter pose from the waist up, gazing studiously just out of camera range, his left hand thrust inside his topcoat. Aided by carefully controlled lighting, the image emphasizes the man's intense eyes as a means of displaying his intellectual and moral character. The photograph thus exemplifies the idea that the human face is the mirror of the soul.


  • Title: Portrait of a Gentleman (Main View)
  • Creator: M.A. Root
  • Date Created: about 1846
  • Type: Cased object
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Daguerreotype, hand-colored
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 84.XT.1571.35
  • Culture: American
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: Attributed to M.A. Root (American, 1808 - 1888)
  • Classification: Photographs (Visual Works)

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