Saturday 31 March 2012

Berlin Panorama

It’s easy to assume that vintage postcards can be relied on as a rich and detailed source of documentary evidence of how things used to look. The apparent lack of artifice is highly deceptive when we realise the dark arts of image manipulation go back a very long way. An exercise like this one from Berlin defies analysis – it might be a single image chopped up to provide two new ones or it could be three images in permutation - postcard publishers were experts in extracting maximum value from every image that fell on their desks. The panoramic view shown below may be yet another visual fiction. The colour printed card has featured here before on its own merits and a friend whose mother was a child in pre-war Berlin told me that it was the height of fashion among wealthy families to employ wet-nurses clad in traditional regional costume like these examples here.

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