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The Two Ways of Life


The Royal Photographic Society

  • The Two Ways of Life
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  • Creator:

    Rejlander, Oscar Gustav (1813-1875)

  • Date:


  • Description:

    An albumen print photograph entitled ‘Two Ways of Life’, taken by Oscar Gustav Rejlander in 1857.

    The photograph shows two young men and their father, the men choosing between a righteous or an immoral way of life. The group on the left of the scene represent the evil path, a pair of men gamble and two sirens try to tempt the man. On the right Religion, Knowledge and Mercy are among those who represent the righteous way of life.

    The photograph is a combination print, assembled from 30 individual negatives printed onto one large piece of paper. First exhibited at the Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition of 1857, the image proved controversial for its depiction of nude men and women in the same image. Queen Victoria, however, bought a copy for Prince Albert.