Friday, February 16, 2018

Photographs Collected in Amsterdam at the Rijksmuseum

Anonymous photographer
Portrait of young girl and boy
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Antoine François Jean Claudet
Portrait of a young woman
ca. 1841-47
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

     "You can ring for tea, if you want it," said Selina. "It is almost time."
     The bell was answered by the young butler, who glanced at Selina, turned to the door, and transferred a tray from an unseen hand to the table in one smooth movement.
     "Did a spirit bring it?" said Hugo.
     "It was Percival, sir," said Ainger, in a tone that deprecated both the name and its bearer. "The new boy, if you have happened to notice. He is a pair of hands."
     "Then is he a sort of spirit? That he is so nearly disembodied."
     "You should see him at table, sir. You would hardly apply the term."
     "Must we call him Percival?" said Selina. "What about the name of the last boy?"
     "I made the suggestion, ma'am. And the rejoinder was that he was himself. A small point compared to others' convenience!"
     "The other name was James," said Selina, considering it by itself.
     "That is the case, ma'am. And it could well be the present one."
     "Well, arrange it in that way. And if necessary, refer to me."
     "I will exert my authority, ma'am," said Ainger, as he left the room.
     "Ainger does well in life," said Hugo. "I wonder if he thinks the same of me. I can hardly bear the stamp of success."
     "It may be true of us all," said Ninian. "The future does call for help. It is our time to move forward. We must remember the years ahead. There must be change in life. Indeed life itself is change."
     "It ends in death," said Lavinia. "There is no need for haste. We go forward only too surely."
     "You talk in borrowed words," said her father, smiling.

– from The Mighty and Their Fall by Ivy Compton-Burnett

attributed to William Henry Fox Talbot
Portrait of Nicolaas Henneman
salted paper negative
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Charles Nègre
Portrait of seated woman
ca. 1853-55
salted paper negative
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Caldesi & Co. Bernieri, London
Frieze of Riders from the Parthenon (Elgin Marbles)
albumen print
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Joseph Dupont
Carte-de-visite portrait of history painter Jules Pecher
ca. 1860-70
albumen print
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Calavas Frères
Young Actress in eight poses
ca. 1880-1900
albumen prints
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

     "When I am dead, will they remember me?" said Selina, to herself.
     "Yes, we shall," said Hengist. "Father will be sad, and so will Lavinia. And that will remind us."
     "You should not need reminder," said Miss Starkie.
     "I only said we should have it."
     "Tell us what you think of our real question, Grandma," said Egbert.
     "You mean the money? It must happen as it will. They all want everything. We don't know who should have it."
     "There are always different claims," said Ninian. "And always the one real one."
     "You must not be selfish, Ninian," said Selina, as if saying an accustomed word to a child.
     "That is true. I have a chance to serve them all. I must not lose it."
     "It is easy to give what falls into your hands."
     "It might be easier to keep it. But I am not one of your people who want everything."
     "You always seem to have it," said his mother.
     "And we seldom do that without wanting it," said Hugo.
     "Hugo, I have never said what I hesitate to say now. This house is mine. I have never grudged you a place in it. You have not found the talk of my grudging true. Do not force it to be so now."
     "Your parents gave me a place and enough to keep it. I have cost you nothing."
     "Money!" said Ninian sadly. "So there is nothing else. No affection, no sharing of deeper things, no place in family life. And I must answer your words with my own. I have not gained anything either. Not that I wished to gain."
     "You know I had nothing over. Anything I had, you would have taken. You have given the proof."
     "You all want it all," said Selina. "And Ninian has the most. He has had the chance, and that is what it is. No one gives until he must. We find it, when we make a will. It is giving what still is ours. We try to keep it as a power over other lives. I have tried to use it wisely. And I think I have been wise. But you all want everything, and no one can have it or give it. I will go now."

– from The Mighty and Their Fall by Ivy Compton-Burnett

Anonymous Dutch photographer
Sculpture Fragments from the Pediment of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia (casts)
ca. 1895-1915
albumen print
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Anonymous Dutch photographer
 Girl with Geraniums
ca. 1907-30
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Anonymous Dutch photographer
Portrait of unknown man
ca. 1907-30
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Anonymous Dutch photographer
Portrait of unknown woman
ca. 1907-30
print from glass plate negative
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
     "James!" said Ainger, indicating something on the floor.
     "Yes, sir," said James, as he sprang to retrieve it.
     "An improvement, Cook," said Ainger, turning his thumb toward his assistant.
     "A thing that might take place in more than one of us."
     "Is there room for it in you?"
     "It is not my habit to refer to myself," said Cook, who had not broken it.
     "Well, there is only dullness in front of us."
     "That may be in ourselves, Ainger. And what is your right to variety? How do you regard yourself?"
     "As someone whose claims are passed over."
     "It might be inferred that they are absent in your case."
     "I am not dull," said James, standing upright with a satisfied expression.
     "It is a wise word, James, and may lead to bettering yourself."
     "Till I am like Mr. Ainger," said James, in deep agreement.
     "He is born to be a slave," said Ainger, who perhaps hardly opposed the tendency.
     "To render service," said Cook, glancing at James.
     "I was not born to it," said the latter, in honest admission. "But I am one who learns."
     "No more trouble with the name, Cook. That is in the past."
     "James is a usual name for a house servant," said the new owner of it with fluency. "And it saves inconvenience."
     "Saves whom?" said Ainger. "Those who have the least?"
     "They should not have any," said James, in a grave tone.
     "So one of them thinks he is having it now," said Ainger, glancing up the stairs.
     "My bell, sir," said James, leaping towards them.
     "Why can't they keep together and save people's legs?" said Ainger caressing one of his own.
     "We need not enquire into reasons. They are entitled to them."
     "The master will have tea in his room," said James, returning equipped with a tray.
     "Then you can toil up with it," said Ainger, as he supplied what was needed.
     James held the tray before him, and mounted the stairs with a swift, light tread.
     "The new generation cometh," said Ainger, "and might as well be the old."
     "Well, all things need not pass away."
     "Some of them should. Some people are put too high. They fail in their own sphere. The master and Miss Lavinia; the old master and Mr. Hugo; and the old mistress in a way. Ah, I have heard, and said to myself: 'How are the mighty fallen!'"
   "You need not say it to anyone else. And where is the call to confer with yourself? Everyone is not mighty. We can think of instances."
     "Some more hot water in five minutes," said James, running noiselessly down the stairs.
     "So he feels he is still mighty," said Ainger, as he took the jug. "The very minute stipulated!"

– from The Mighty and Their Fall by Ivy Compton-Burnett

circle of Adolphe Burdet
Study of Flower-Field, Netherlands
ca. 1907-30
print from glass plate negative
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

circle of Adolphe Burdet
Eight Children by a Sloop, North Sea Coast, Netherlands
ca. 1922-30
print from glass plate negative
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Staeske Rebers
Tulips in Amsterdam
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam