A summer idyll, interrupted

We can see from this scene that parents have overreacted to teenage behavior since at least the 1850s.  A girl and a boy lounge in the grass.  A basket of wildflowers lies at the girl’s feet.  The boy innocently offers her a small bouquet.  Meanwhile, the girl’s father discovers them and charges through the bushes with a rake.  Parents can be so uptight!

This carte-de-visite was made by the studio of Furne Fils & H. Tournier in Paris.  The partners were Charles Furne (1794-1859), his son Charles Paul Furne (1824-1880), and Henri Alexis Omer Tournier.  The J. Paul Getty Museum has a small collection of stereographs made by the studio, mostly landscape views, which date to 1858-1861.  The Art Institute of Chicago has two CDVs which the museum’s website says were made between 1860 and 1869, after the senior Furne had died.

Mad Dad by Tournier 3b

Mad Dad by Tournier 2


12 thoughts on “A summer idyll, interrupted

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  1. That rake looks somewhat lethal. There was a trend for ‘posed’ photographs as artistic representations of life, or as social comment. Photography is so endlessly fascinating in all its variety, so keep up the good work.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’d be afraid of that rake!! The images made for social commentary can be quite interesting, giving us a peek into what people were thinking at the time. This image seems to have been made purely for entertainment. Thanks so much for the encouragement!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh yes, I agree that this picture seems made for entertainment. It almost seems to reference frothy French 18th century paintings–Boucher, maybe? The girl’s dress and her little hat, the flowers in the basket–even the father’s clothes.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This sort of scene has been the stuff of comedy for ages. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Romans had done it! The couple does look a bit posed, but the guy ‘playing’ the parent is clearly getting into it – look at the expression on his face!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love his expression! You’re probably right about the Romans. Isn’t it interesting that humor can be timeless? In superficial ways, human civilization has changed so much, but human beings aren’t any different now than we ever were. Our environment has changed, and the amount of information available to us, but biologically we’re no different from the Romans, or even the hunter-gatherers before them.

      Liked by 1 person

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