Comtesse de Croix-Mesnil
Portrait of two Mahometan women
Museum no. PH.3783-1904
Not a lot is known about the Comtesse de Croix-Mesnil. In the introduction to her commercially produced photograph album called Femmes d'Orient, she states that she had studied Islamic women for five years. It was her intention to let the women in the pictures express their own identity and personality. However, she used the same props, clothes and painted backdrops in many of the photographs and probably paid the models. This puts into question the relationship between the sitter and the image the photographer wishes to convey. The Portrait of Two Mahometan Women comes from the Femmes d'Orient album.