A cabinet card portrait of Russian giant Elizabeth Lyska.
Born Elisaveta Philipovna on 16 September 1877 at Wiessolyj in Russia, she started exhibiting herself when she was only 11 years old. Or so her publicity claimed; she might have been a few years older. When she visited Vienna in 1889, she was advertised as being over 7 feet tall. In reality, she was about 6 feet tall at that time. She started touring after her father died, and the family lost their income. Her manager agreed to pay her weekly wages, which were presented as being high enough that she would be able to stop touring after one year and go back to her family. What exactly went wrong with this plan is not known, but a few years later she must have still have been touring since she visited London in 1893. After her London appearance she was never heard of again, so perhaps she died or or eventually returned to her family in Russia.
Condition: The print is in excellent condition, with rich and satisfying tones. The mount presents some faint foxing on its reverse but is otherwise clean, firm and solid. Pencilled inscriptions in the hand of an earlier collector give brief details of the sitter’s professional career.