Herbert Rose Barraud, Carte-de-visite of Charles Darwin, ca. 1881.
Barraud (1845-1896) was a portrait photographer with a studio in London’s Portman Square. Darwin was a frequent target of portrait photographers; numerous cartes-de-visite made his face instantly familiar to the Victorian public. Francis Darwin recalled that his father did not realize that he would be recognized from his photographs; he became very uncomfortable when a stranger at the Crystal Palace Aquarium greeted him by name. The aging Darwin was a particularly appealing subject; one visitor to Down House saw in him “Socrates come to life... with the high-domed brow of the true philosopher” (Richard Milner, “Charles Darwin: The Last Portrait,” Scientific American, November 1995). The carte-de-visite is undated; it seems likely it was produced at the same time as the widely known 1881 frontal portrait of Darwin that is usually considered the last image from life (see fig. 7.2 in Janet Browne, “I Could Have Retched All Night: Charles Darwin and His Body,” Science Incarnate: Historical Embodiments of Natural Knowledge, ed. Lawrence and Shapin, Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1998).