Several years ago a photo entitled "The Bronte Sisters" was found
in France and purchased to help illustrate a book on early photography.
It wasn't thought to be of any great interest until it was discovered that
there were no photos of the Bronte Sisters and the present research began.
A photo on glass,1. it dates
from the 1850s, and written on the back in French is “Les Sœurs Brontë.” Although Emily
and Anne died in the 1840s, copies were made of their other portraits in the 1850s, one by a
photographer from France.
The website explores whether this is just a staged portrayal of the Bronte
Sisters, or a copy of an earlier, genuine photograph.
You can compare these ladies with images and descriptions of the Bronte Sisters
and there's research on the fashions, early photography and a possible location.
Detail from an
1830s portrait of Charlotte Bronte, by her brother Branwell, shown alongside detail of
'Charlotte' in the photo.
1830s portrait painting of Charlotte remained hidden from public view until
The photo dates from the
1850s and may be a copy of an 1840s daguerreotype.
The only image of Charlotte seen by the public before 1914
was this engraving (left) and portraits based upon it.
illustrations all had their origins in a portrait of Charlotte (1850) by George
Richmond where she has a more oval face with a longer, differently shaped
If the photo is genuine then
Branwell's portrait of Charlotte is far more accurate than George