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Bébé Fabulist

1910? Five cards titled "Bébé Fabulist." Papier Gulleminot. Série n. 704. "Clayette Phot." Each card's black-and-white picture-side features two portions. On the white portion, perhaps a quarter of the card, is a three or four line segment in sequence of La Fontaine's FC. The rest of this side of the card is a photograph composed of a rectangular section (generally a cloud-like backdrop of black and white) and a section including a portion of a circle. The young girl is in this enlarged, circular portion. €12 for the set from Coll'ex, Rottier/Verrier, Rouen, at the Paris Post Card Exhibition, Jan.,' 05.

I would guess that there is an experiment in the use of photography going on here. The experiment would seem to be this: can a good photographer show the course of a fable by the facial expressions of a clever young actress? The answer here has plenty of "yes," since the girl is both photogenic and expressive. The five pictures seem to me to follow well La Fontaine's fable's pattern: first distance on the part of the crow; then interest; then sheer joy over the flattery; then perhaps the fox's joy over outwitting the crow; and finally the crow's resolve--"but a little late," La Fontaine comments--not to be duped again. The child here is a gifted photographic subject.

Click on any card to see it enlarged.