The Photography of Francis Blake

Portraits

Francis Blake developed his interest in photography by photographing his friends and family. The portraits below of his wife's cousin, Henry Silas Payson, and his friend, Boston actor Henry Clay Barnabee, reveal Blake's concern with realism and a lack of formalism that was unique to nineteenth-century portraiture. Blake used the 'instantaneous photography' with which he captured Barnabee's antic facial expressions to also photograph his son, Benjamin Sewall Blake, jumping above the lawn of Keewaydin.