This paper examines representations of tuberculosis (TB), particularly pulmonary tuberculosis, in nineteenth century photography with a focus on Henry Peach Robinson’s Fading Away. Once known as the ‘romantic disease,’ the effects of tuberculosis became synonymous with artistic talent because of its ability to alter the way that a person observed their surroundings. Women who had contracted the disease and were from the upper classes were judged by their attractiveness (Mullin: 2016). As a ‘wasting disease,’ tuberculosis was thought to enhance existing female beauty standards such as; pale, waxen features and a thin figure. The wealthy sufferers spent their last few weeks of life abroad or in the countryside as recommended by their physician; dying in a manner that was both tragic and romantic.
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 2022|