|A cabinet card portrait of a lovely actress wearing a shawl over a short jacket and playing a mandolin or lute.
A pencilled inscription verso in a period hand identifies the sitter as either ‘May’ or ‘Neay’.
Photographed by Charles Reutlinger of 21, boulevard Montmartre, Paris.
The Reutlingers were a French family of German descent. The family photographic business was founded in Paris in 1850 by Charles Reutlinger, and the studio soon became famous for its portraits of the actors, artists, musicians, composers, opera singers and ballet dancers of the period. In 1880, Charles handed over his studio to his brother, Emile Reutlinger. Reutlinger actively sought out the most attractive models with the best figures, many of whom he found at the Folies Bergères, the Comédie Française, and the Opéra-Bouffe.
In 1880, Charles Reutlinger handed over the reins of the business to his younger brother Emile (born Karlsruhe 27 August 1825, died Germany 9 August 1907). In 1883, Emile's son, Léopold-Emile Reutlinger, who had been born in Peru in 1863, arrived in Paris and began to work for his father, eventually taking over the studio in 1890. Léopold continued at the helm of a very successful business until he lost an eye in an accident with a champagne cork in 1930, forcing him into retirement. He died in Paris on 16 March 1937.
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