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1910: an image of daily life, suspended between reality and fiction

A beautiful black-and-white image captures daily life on the lake in the early 1900's

The image quality is stunning: the twinkling waters, the clear, crisp details, the precise framing of the subject, the naturalness and intimacy of the scene. You can recognize the talent of an experienced photographer, whose name remains unknown. Furthermore the image was originally a postcard, that can be dated around 1910 and was donated to the Lenno Public Library, so it is likely the work of a professional photographer.

Who are the two young people, seemingly engaged in a playful romantic encounter? The girl is a washerwoman doing the laundry on the shores of the lake, wearing healed shoes, a nice striped blouse and a wide brim straw hat; the young man is a fisherman enjoying a moment of rest, lying on a bench on a typical fishing boat, called Lucia. At first sight, a quiet image of daily life in the early 1900’s.

The perfect scene and the attention to details suggests a well-studied mise-en-scène rather than a moment of daily life “stolen” by a lurking photographer. Suspended between fiction and reality, the old photo sums up the romance and allure of daily life on Lake Como in the early 1900’s and catches the eye.

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