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Young Happiness [Jong geluk]
Erytrosine carbon print
14.5 x 10.5 cm (image) 30.5 x 24.8 cm (mount)
19th century photography
A peasant woman is shown, sitting on a wooden chair in front of a dilapidated fireplace. In her left hand she is holding a cup. Presumably she is drinking tea and resting from having worked the land. Her loving gaze is directed at a wicker cradle. What is in the cradle we can not see. Her newborn baby? She seems quite old to be a young mother. Or is the mother of the baby working the land and is grandmother baby-sitting? The blankets in the cradle are very untidy. Has the little one kicked loosethe blankets and is that why the old lady is smiling? A strong light illuminates the face of the peasant lady, her skirt and the stove on which her wooden clog is resting. It comes from the right; through an open door or window. To the right of the stove a cupboard is visible with a coffee mill and a glass bottle. The atmospheric feeling of the whole scene is due to the soft focus lens de Boer used.
This image is included in Adriaan Boer / pionier der kunstzinnige fotografie (Haarlem 1969. It is shown on page 59 and is - presumably by Adriaan Boer himself - titled Jong Geluk (Young Happiness).
Adriaan Boer was a master in of narrative photography. A genre in which he was influenced by the English photographers Alfred Horsley Hinton and Henry Peach Robinson. De Boer thought a talented amateur could achieve a high degree of expression in the photographic medium, provided the photograph passed on the emotion of the photographer to the viewer.