Edouard Foa

Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute, Photographs, Film, and Video

Photographs of Africa from the Late 1800s

Women from Zanzibar, plate 40 / Edouard Foa
Women from Zanzibar, 1893, Edouard Foà. Albumen print in Views of Africa: Zanzibar et Côte-Quiloa-Dar es Salam-Tanga-Somalis, plate 40. Mount: 9 x 11 1/4 in. The Getty Research Institute, 93.R.114.1.2

Six albums by French explorer Edouard Foà reveal African society at the turn of the 20th century. More»

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      #ThyCaptionBe: You Look Like Hell

      You captioned this detail. And we’re revealing the full story now.

      Escaping the in-laws or medieval Sea World? It’s actually an extreme punishment for a dress code violation. 

      Here’s the full story:

      The Christian tale of Saint Josaphat is roughly based on the life of the Buddha in a kind of medieval game of telephone, in which the sources for the text passed through Christian circles in the Middle East in the 8th century before appearing in European versions in the 11th century. 

      Here an unsuitably dressed guest—we can see that his tattered clothing and scruffy facial hair have no place at the well-dressed gathering—is cast into the dark, open mouth of a terrifying animal. 

      To make matters worse, the story is a parable in which Barlaam, Josaphat’s Christian teacher, describes the sinful who do not make the cut at the Last Judgment.

      Holiday Lesson: Always check the dress code.

      #ThyCaptionBe is a celebration of modern interpretations of medieval aesthetics. You guess what the heck is going on, then we myth-bust.


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