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Both of these studio portraits seems to be referencing a very romantic view of country life.

A couple pose by a garden wall in front of a country cottage, which is actually a painted backdrop hanging in a photographic studio in Scarborough (on the back of the photograph is printed “E Taylor. 63 Eastboro[ugh]. Scarboro[ugh]“). The garden wall appears to have a rather rough, realistic, texture to it, whilst the cottage is a rather fantastic assortment of architectural feature, complete with flowers climbing up the wall.


In the second photograph a lady stand behind a crude constructed gate or fence, which stands at the end of a country lane. The lane is lined with clumps of flowers and in the distance can be seen a very stylised pair of buildings; a farm house possibly, with some very substantial trees behind it. The back of this photograph only has half of a label, “Stephen Young, Shields Row, S…“. Could that be Shields Row, Stanley, County Durham? It appears that Shields Row is not a common place name or so it would seem following my internet search engine enquiries.

What do these photographs tell us? Perhaps they’re about an increasingly urban and industrialised society looking back to an idealised vision of it’s rural beginnings.