Family portrait, with pets. Ramallo. Buenos Aires province. Circa 1900.

Vintage gelatin silver photography toned in sepia. Measures. Photograph: 10.2 x 14.2 cm. Secondary white cardboard support with perimeter embossing: 16 x 22 cm. Advertising on the back in wet stamp and in blue ink: "Photograph "La Favorita" by Vicente Brullo. Est. Ramallo, F.C.C.A." Work in good condition. It is displayed framed.

We are facing an unusual outdoor photograph (plein air) where three men and two teenagers pose especially together with several dogs of different breeds. Surely, the reason for this unusual image was the registration of the aforementioned dogs. To that end, the photographer Brullo "put together" this scene on the outside of a house with its windows barred. We are struck by the beauty of chairs and rocking chairs.

This family portrait - where the old man with a bushy beard stands out in the center - must have been important, since the copy that we appreciate today is a period reproduction taken from the original.

The Italian-born photographer Vicente Brullo, like most of his colleagues from the interior of the country -especially in small towns- divided his commercial tasks between social portraits taken in the studio and visits by sulky to photograph clients from neighboring farms.

We must point out that Vicente Brullo was still active around 1928, as stated in the Kraft Yearbook of that same year, and had Manuel Arana as his only competitor in that town of only 7,200 inhabitants lying on the banks of the Paraná de las Palmas.

A paragraph apart from him deserves his attractive advertising stamp, where he highlights that his signature is "The Favorite" of that population and also shows the classic symbols of Photography and Painting. Definitely a curious photograph from yesterday.

Abel Alexander.

President of the Ibero-American Society for the History of Photography


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