Philip Henry Delamotte

Innocence

October 1855
"Innocence", which was included in "The Photographic Album for the Year 1855", is a slightly unusual image for Philip Henry Delamotte, who is better known for his commissioned photographs of the Crystal Palace reconstruction at Sydenham. Here, a young girl dressed in a tartan skirt and wearing a straw hat with ribbons stands before an open wicker birdcage placed on a draped pedestal. The combination of the title, the still-life arrangement, and the somewhat eccentric props suggests that Delamotte intended this photograph to convey a symbolic message. Most Victorian viewers would usually read the inclusion of a birdcage in painting as a coded reference to sexuality.
Title
Innocence
Date
October 1855
Medium
Photograph
Materials
albumen silver print
Dimensions
18.7 x 15.6 cm oval
Nationality
British
Credit line
Purchased 1973
Accession number
20515.25