Man in artistic attire

By: usermattw

May 14 2013

Tags: ,

Category: Men


Click here to view it larger.

What it is:

Photo measuring 2.75 x 4.5 inches.

What I know about it:

Nothing!  Undated and unidentified.


I’m trying to place this outfit.  What comes to mind is that when I’m watching some Agatha Christie show, and they visit the country estate of a wealthy and successful painter (as opposed to an artist struggling in a run-down garret), he’s dressed like this.  (His alibi was that he was painting a portrait at the time of the murder, so the model can vouch for him.  But the model turns out to be the victim’s wife, who was posing nude, so the alibi turns into a motive.  Or does it?  But I digress.)  Does it give that sort of impression to anyone else?  Given the rather ordinary house he’s standing in front of, it seems almost like he’s in a costume.  Perhaps it’s not so ordinary inside?  Or perhaps he’s visiting a relative?  Perhaps I’m way off base, confusing him with some other character type?  As a very general ballpark estimate, I’m guessing the photo is from around the 1940s, though the Poirots are set in the 1930s and the Marples in the 1950s (at least the ones on TV).  In any case, it’s a dashing look.

12 comments on “Man in artistic attire”

  1. This is so confusing. The background architecture makes it seem like at least the early 1900’s, but the outfit looks like it could be even earlier. Do you know anything about the earliest date this kind of photograph would have been available? Is it a Brownie-type snapshot? Because if the photo itself says 1930’s to you, then he’s dressed up in antique clothes.

    • Oh, good, I’m glad I’m not the only one confused by this. We assume, when looking at vintage photos, that we are looking at people dressed of their period, but there’s no reason this couldn’t be a man going to a costume party. The photo itself is still rather glossy, and the paper isn’t terribly yellowed, fitting in nicely with photos of around the 1940s that came from that same bag of random snapshots, but I could easily be deceived. I have a couple of photos that appear to be newer photos showing women dressed from a much older period. I’ll have to post those sometime soon, too, since they confuse me.

  2. I know next to nothing about clothing styles and architecture, but to my unsophisticated eye the outfit and house do not seem to fit together. Maybe the gentleman is in “costume”.

  3. It definitely has the feeling of a costume. He looks like one of the re-enactors from Yosemite Village (1850s-1860s). During the summer, they usually have an artist dressed up in period clothing.

    • I’m obviously confusing my eras, but thanks for confirming my notion that he’s dressed as an artist. 🙂

      • The coat has such wide lapels…and the vest with the contrasting trim/edging do it for me (costume-wise).

      • To me, the facial hair seemed in keeping with the overall look, and struck me as unusual for normal wear, or rather elaborate for a one-off costume. But then, as you suggested, perhaps he’s some sort of re-enactor.

  4. I’m more intrigued by the fact that he looks a little tired. I don’t think he’s going anywhere; I think he’s expecting someone, …and they’re late, as usual.

  5. I think I was more entertained by your vivid imaginings than with the photo itself…gave me a good chuckle!

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