Friday, September 28, 2012

Sepia Saturday 145 : The Boy With The Mona Lisa Look.

Our Sepia Saturday prompt this week features a picture of three young lads with their football boots around their neck. Some strange process of association caused me to think of this photograph of an unknown young lad standing besides a gate. Perhaps it is the fact that the combination of his stance and his short trousers leads the eye downwards towards what are a pair of substantial shoes.

I have no idea who the lad is, where the photograph was taken or when it was taken. I bought it for a few pence at an antique stall some years ago. It appeared lost and I just felt it needed rescuing. It recorded a life about to happen. a life which surely, by now, will have finished. 

There is a pensive look on his face, almost as though he is looking down the road and into his future. But, there again, he might be fed up of standing there waiting for the photographer to press the shutter and thinking of nothing more than his dinner. Whatever thought may have given rise to it, there is a Mona Lisa quality about his expression, something which will stay with you long after you do the sensible thing and turn to some other Blog to read.

You can turn to some other Blog to read by going to the Sepia Saturday Blog and following one of the links you will find there. But don't be surprised if that Lad's enigmatic look comes back to haunt you for the rest of the day.

32 comments:

  1. Those shoes seem a tad large. But hurrah for the photographer capturing him at just the right moment .

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  2. There's a whole novel in that one photograph, Allen.

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  3. "it recorded a life about to happen, a life which surely, by now, will have finished. Thought-provoking and poignant. Thank you, Alan.

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  4. It is a beautiful picture. I have "rescued" items before too. Sometimes it is hard to let them stay where they are.

    Kathy M.

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  5. A simple but moving photograph backed up by your perceptive commentary.

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  6. For some reason, I immediately saw him at a cemetery waiting for the adult mourners to catch up. It's fun to make up stories from strange photos.

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  7. Do you suppose he's got to "grow into" those shoes? They are HUGE for a kid that size...he's got the knees, though, to be a big fellow when he grows up! Great shot, great ironwork in that gate.

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  8. Forget about the shoes, he has got one arm more than Mona Lisa. So the look is just an extra!

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  9. No Clues on the photo where it may have been taken?Its an odd one.I mean, it looks almost like it was a Portrait ,which means the Open Gate, the sideways stance all must be deliberate............I wonder if its a school-gate?

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  10. I think I'm pretty glad that the fashion for short trousers has more or less disappeared. In those days clothes wore you, rather than you wearing them. The poor lad looks jolly uncomfortable.

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  11. All the black really makes his face (and other skin) stand out.

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  12. Maybe there's something symbolic about that fact that he is waiting at an open gate. He certainly seems to be waiting for something or someone and he doesn't look very relaxed about it poor lad. He appears to have very dirty knees, or maybe he has been playing football just before the picture was taken.

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  13. He really resembles the character Dickon played by Brian Roper in the Secret Garden film of 1949. He's standing at the gate ready to enter the garden where it will all turn to technicolor.
    Nancy

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  14. I can see why you bought this postcard - I would have been attracted to it too.

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  15. Yup, I think it might be posed or one (maybe both) of the socks would be wrinkling down. Remember how we were always pulling up our socks?

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  16. You've really nailed this one. As you said I would have to take another look at it.I keep looking to see if I can find something to give me info on why this guy is looking like he does,

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  17. I'm glad you rescued this photo and shared it with us. It does make you wonder where he was at the time. Maybe he was at school and the students were photographed by the gate?

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  18. Interesting photograph, Alan. I remember wearing a new pair of shoes to my grandparent's house, on one occasion. My grandfather looked down at them, scratched his head and declared, "Good lord, you'll need to go up to the crossroads if you're going to turn around in those!"

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  19. They certainly are a sturdy pair of shoes, were they were bought for him to grown into. It does make me wonder where the gate is, from the spikes it was probably shut after dark. A great rescue.

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  20. It's a wonderful photograph, I have the same reaction to certain photos in my collection - I keep coming back to them over and over again to look at. I guess that's the sign of a good photographer or maybe just luck catching a good shot at the right moment.

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  21. Alan, I do believe you are right, and I can bet this lad will be in my thoughts today, and probably after that as well. I'm thinking perhaps that gate led to his most beloved grandmother's house and that he could already smell her most delicious strawberry tarts, and again he must wait for his three primping sisters and easy going mother to venture up the long and winding road that leads to that gate...but he's far too polite to ask them to "hurry up!"

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  22. I love the rolled down socks and the knobby knees..wonderful old photo:)

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  23. The dark tone, the shoes, the hat, and especially the iron gate makes the boy become a character in one of Edward Gorey's illustrations. Definitely a worthy photo choice.

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  24. Puts me in a pondering frame of mind.

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  25. First day at a new school in new shoes and new clothes. Wonderful photo.

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  26. I can see why you bought it. Sometimes a photo just clicks. I wonder if he remembered it being taken all his life. It looks 1920s or 30s, so he might still be alive!

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  27. I think he looks slightly oriental.

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  28. He looks as though he is waiting and daydreaming. I wonder if his boots were hand-me-downs from a big brother and he was waiting to grow into them. Or if he just had big feet? Jo

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  29. This is an interesting photo. I wonder what was behind that gate and where the path led.

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  30. Those shoes look indestructible! I remember wearing heavy shoes as a child to fix a deformity. Then it was on to saddle shoes for awhile. I felt sorry for those who were in high school who still had foot problems and wore what we called clod hoppers. Ugly heavy shoes which never looked nice with whatever dress or skirt you tried to "match" them with.

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  31. Thanks for that. Now I'm going to be haunted for the rest of the day. It is an evocative photo. I love the old gate and stone wall. I have pics of my mum with backgrounds similar. One does wonder what ever happened to him.

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  32. While the boy has an interesting look,
    it is the fence that drew my attention,
    having a thing for metal...
    ;)~
    HUGZ

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