Virginia Poe (Mrs. Edgar Allan Poe) was noted for her beauty but the only picture known to be her that survives is her death portrait, a watercolor. Over the years numerous paintings have been offered up for sale but none have had any evidence presented to prove that the portrait is of Virginia Poe. Several years ago, a portrait surfaced purporting to be Virginia. This portrait, however, was produced by a descendent of Virginia’s family. No proof, except for the family traditions. If this were actually a portrait of Virginia, wouldn’t the family have come forward sooner? Don’t know, but check it out.
Tomorrow, Another Pic
After the invention of the daguerreotype in 1837, its use quickly became widespread. Photographers travelled all America taking pics of people, rich and poor. During the Victorian era it became commonplace to photograph deceased individuals. The pics were called memento mori. They were kept as keepsakes or returned to the family. Deceased individuals were photographed as if asleep or posed with their favorite things. Children and babies were most commonly photographed.
In 1835 Poe married his first cousin, Virginia Clemm. Although the marriage certificate stated that she was 21, she was actually 13. In early 1842, Virginia first showed symptoms of tuberculosis. Her condition deteriorated over the next few years which upset Poe and may have increased his drinking. Despite her decline and eventual death in 1847 at 25, she remained very beautiful. After her death, Poe had the death portrait done in watercolor.
Tomorrow, The Peculiar Demise of Edgar Allan Poe Rita Bay