The person in the middle of this photograph was not alive when it was taken.. she was deceased and, after death, her pupils were drawn on the photograph to make her appear more alive:
This picture is just another stunning example of the Victorian age’s fascination with morbid photographs of lifeless corpses, but bodies made to look and seem very much like they were still living.. Children propped up, or even looking like they were sleeping.. parents, looking distraught from the fact they lost a a child, holding the baby as the photographer snaps away a shot..
The idea of the pictures was not to display the dead in some twisted game, but instead to memorialize a life that once lived.
What gives these pictures that creepy and macabre feeling, so often though, is the amount of children in photos. Little lifeless beings who once were alive but cut down early by the time’s disease and other problems that often befell people..
While the photos can be called ‘creepy’ by our standards, a future generation may one day raise its collective eyebrows at our modern ways of holding viewings.. Or whatever other things cultures around the world currently do.
I am certainly not a proponent of bringing this custom or tradition back, but i have recently been seeing photographs of corpses occurring at viewings..
We all handle death in certain ways.. different ways.. And these days we live with a camera constantly in our hands.
I predict it won’t be too long before these seemingly strange Victorian customs come back again—just in a different Instagram-hue colored sorta way..