Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Portrait's SubjectInventing Inner Life in the Nineteenth-Century United States$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Sarah Blackwood

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469652597

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469652597.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021



In the Portrait Gallery of American Literature

(p.1) Introduction
The Portrait's Subject

Sarah Blackwood

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter sketches the main argument of the book, namely that after the invention of photography, portraiture’s changing symbolic and aesthetic practices helped produce new ideas about human inner life. Portraiture’s proliferating representational images of the human body began to characterize inner life as “deep.” Through brief readings of the appearance of portraits in the work of Walt Whitman, Edgar Allan Poe, and Edith Wharton, this introduction situates the changing visual technologies and aesthetic conventions alongside the development of psychology as a discipline. The chapter also introduces the political valences of portraiture’s new cultural function as index of depth, discussing how this function had different meanings for Black Americans as well as for white women.

Keywords:   Inner life, Early photography, Depth, Psychology, portraiture

North Carolina Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .