John P. Soule
The Emperor's Favorite
John P. Soule's career in the photography business was just begining at the time that these two cards were copyrighted and sold to his Boston customers. Before setting up shop he had worked with the Bierstadt Brothers (Albert, Charles, and Edward), accompanying them on a summer excursion in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Before the Foot-lights
Prior to gas lighting, the illumination of the stage was by way of open flames in lanterns. This card is a hand-colored photograph taken by John P. Soule (1828-1904). Soule photographed original paintings in both cards, probably by Nantucket portrait artist, George Gardner Fish ( 1822-1906). Soule had a lot of skills that came together in the collaboration with Fish for these idealized images of women in American theatre. The cards were purchased as fillers for empty slots in the photograph albums designed to display cartes de visite (CDVs).