"the final, the best picture, showing Mohr in all his serene, confident, Olympian calmness" - owned by Marx's great-grandson

Marx, Karl, philosopher and economist (1818-1883). Portrait photograph.

[London, 1875 / ca. 1900-1910].

Ca. 40 x 30.5 cm. Print pasted to strong cardboard.


Uncommonly large print of one of the four photos of Marx that the London photographer John Mayall jr. (1842-91) made in rapid sequence.

Mayall was the son of the photographic pioneer John Jabez Edwin Mayall (1813-1901), who in 1860 took the first carte-de-visite photographs of Queen Victoria. The renowned Mayall studio had produced a fine portrait of Marx as early as 1872 (it was used as a frontispiece in the first livraison of the first French edition of "Das Kapital"). The four 1875 Mayall portraits went on to become Marx's most widely disseminated likeness: after his friend's death in 1883, Engels ordered 1200 prints to send to socialists all over the world, deciding that this was "the final, the best picture, showing Mohr [his nickname for Marx] in all his serene, confident, Olympian calmness".

The original knee-length image is here enlarged and cropped to show just the back of Marx's left hand (resting in his lap) at the lower edge. Scratched and scuffed, with greater abrasions along the right edge. Probably printed ca. 1900-1910. Provenance: Paul Longuet (1909-79), French politician and great-grandson of Karl Marx: the son of the socialist Edgar Longuet, whose parents were the Proudhonist Charles Longuet and Marx's eldest daughter, Jenny Caroline.


Cf. IISG call no. BG A 9/363.

Art.-Nr.: BN#61635 Schlagwörter: , ,