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Bodily Qualities
portraits without overcoming by an effort the aversion they suggest.
I am sure that the method of composite portraiture opens a fertile field
of research to ethnologists, but I find it very difficult to do much single-
handed, on account of the difficulty of obtaining the necessary materials.
As a rule, the individuals must be specially photographed. The portraits
made by artists are taken in every conceivable aspect and variety of light
and shade, but for the purpose in question the aspect and the shade must
be the same throughout. Group portraits would do to work from, were it
not for the strong out-of-door light under which they are necessarily
taken, which gives an unwonted effect to the expression of the faces.
Their scale also is too small to give a sufficiently clear picture when
enlarged. I may say that the scale of the portraits need not be uniform, as
my apparatus enlarges or reduces as required, at the same time that it
superposes the images; but the portraits of the heads should never be less
than twice the size of that of the Queen on a halfpenny piece.
I heartily wish that amateur photographers would seriously take up the
subject of composite portraiture as applied to different sub-types of the
varying races of men. I have already given more time to perfecting the
process and experimenting with it than I can well spare.
The differences in the bodily qualities that are the usual subjects of
anthropometry are easily dealt with, and are becoming widely registered
in many countries. We are unfortunately destitute of trustworthy
measurements of Englishmen of past generations to enable us to compare
class with class, and to learn how far the several sections of the English
nation may be improving or deteriorating. We shall, however, hand useful
information concerning our own times to our successors, thanks
principally to the exertions of an Anthropometric Committee established
five years ago by the British Association, who have collected Previous page Top Next page