Hungarian man with a large mustache

By: usermattw

Sep 12 2013

Tags: , , ,

Category: Men


Click here to view it larger.

Click here to view the back.

What it is:

Cabinet card measuring 4.25 x 8.5 inches.

What I know about it:

Photographer is Kossak Jozsef (Joseph Kossak) of Budapest (and Temesvar and Buzias), Hungary.  It is undated, but the awards displayed on the back and the photographer’s lifeline (1855-1922) narrow the date down to a 30-year range from 1892-1922, which I probably would have guessed anyway by looking at the image.


For some reason, this one is a favorite of mine.  This man stands tall with obvious and, I’m sure, deserved pride, but to my modern eyes he looks faintly silly with his oversized mustache and his left arm awkwardly akimbo.  Yet it’s a handsomely composed image.  I’m especially fond of the soft lighting.  Old photo studios often relied on natural light from a skylight, and, though I don’t know for sure, that seems to be the case here.  Even the plain backdrop seems to have a richness to it, and it takes a moment to notice how it darkens the farther down it goes.  Very simple and subtle, but obviously staged with a discerning eye.  By the way, I’m not sure what is on the chair.  Some sort of documents?  And while I’m used to seeing rugs draped over tables in old photos, I’m not used to seeing one draped over a chair, which is interesting to me.

4 comments on “Hungarian man with a large mustache”

  1. I agree it is a wonderful image.

  2. Perhaps the shawl of a loved one? I thought at first it could be a prayer rug, except it’s kind of crumpled in his hand.

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