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Emma Schenson (1827-1913) 
Memorials of Linnaeus 
[Memorials of Linnaeus] 
Albumen print, from glass negative 
18.2 x 14 cm 
Victoria and Albert Museum 
Museum number: 72:384 
Curatorial notes
[Accessed: 23 Jan 2012]
This photograph was taken at the home of botanist Carl von Linné (known as Linnaeus) at Hammarby near Uppsala, Sweden. Linnaeus devised the first consistent binomial classification system for plants, which is still used, in a modified form, today.
Schenson's practice as a painter (as well as a photographer) is evident here. She used a painting by Johan Henrik Scheffel (dated 1755, and still in Hammarby) as part of a lively composition. She placed objects of the botanist's daily life, such as his hat, teacup, teapot, and tea caddy, with the painting. His walking stick leans against a chair, as if its owner might return at any moment. Schenson also indicates Linnaeus' place in an ancestral portrait gallery, positioning Scheffel's painting so that the sitter's head appears in line with the two female portraits (his wife and his mother, perhaps) on the wall in the background. 

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