[Studio Portrait of Woman and Man Posed with Rifles]

Bourne & Shepherdc. 1880

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Houston, United States

While this picture has several trappings of traditional studio portraiture—sitters posing with props and a painted background—it is far from typical. By including the edge of the scenic backdrop, the photographer reveals the constructed nature of the picture. Rare too is the woman’s dress and pose. Clad in a hunting outfit, she holds her gun in one hand and slips the other into her coat

pocket. More common is the relationship between the two figures. A standing European woman and sitting Indian servant are typical of the time and illustrate the power dynamics at play in colonial India.


  • Title: [Studio Portrait of Woman and Man Posed with Rifles]
  • Creator: Bourne & Shepherd
  • Date: c. 1880
  • Physical Dimensions: w9.7 x h14 cm (image/sheet)
  • Type: Photographs
  • External Link: MFAH
  • Medium: Albumen silver print from glass negative
  • Credit Line: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, museum purchase funded by Clinton T. Willour in honor of Kara Fiedorek

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