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Author Topic: Re: Charlie Patton Photo?  (Read 12780 times)

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Offline banjochris

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Re: Charlie Patton Photo?
« Reply #45 on: March 08, 2011, 04:26:10 PM »
Just to stir up trouble, I'd say that that portrait is about 1000 times likelier to be Charlie Patton than that Vanity Fair picture is to be Robert Johnson.

Offline Lyndvs

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Re: Charlie Patton Photo?
« Reply #46 on: March 09, 2011, 03:19:50 AM »
"Just to stir up trouble, I'd say that that portrait is about 1000 times likelier to be Charlie Patton than that Vanity Fair picture is to be Robert Johnson" banjo chris


I agree!.General face structure on the Patton photo`s is similar.A botched retouch job i think.The vanity fair photo could be anyone.At least the Patton photo has a provenance and a pretty good one too.
Lyndvs.

Offline wreid75

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Re: Charlie Patton Photo?
« Reply #47 on: October 19, 2011, 11:48:40 AM »
Okay it know it is heavily retouched............but....................is there a photo or image of the unretouched portrait?  Does anyone know what parts were retouched and could be removed through photoshop?

Offline Rivers

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Re: Charlie Patton Photo?
« Reply #48 on: October 19, 2011, 05:43:21 PM »
Hmmm. Hairline is the same but that side parting was a fashionable way for guys to comb their hair back then.
Ears seem to me to stick out more in the later shot, eyes turn down more also in this aspect: / \. Nose is different.
 
I'm not totally convinced they're the same guy but they could be.

Offline coco

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Re: Charlie Patton Photo?
« Reply #49 on: October 20, 2011, 02:06:48 PM »
With mustache & eyes in shadow

hahahahahaha

Offline wreid75

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Re: Charlie Patton Photo?
« Reply #50 on: November 08, 2011, 11:31:01 AM »
Here is a message I got from the horses mouth, Gayle Dean Wardlow.

I have been asked by a few younger blues fans to explain the background of the Patton portrait that first appeared in the 1988 Charley Patton book I authored with Stephen Calt and was bootlegged by Document Records for their Patton releases. I found the portrait--not a photo-on a plantation at Sumner, Miss. in 1967 after Willie Moore and Hayes McMullan both of whom had played with Patton told me a lady on the plantation had just died and she had a picture of Patton. They went with me to see the grandaughter of Lizzie Taylor.
The portrait was done around 1908 to 1910 when Patton was in his early 20s at Oxford in the hill country when she was married to him. It was in two pieces. I had doubts when I saw it that it could be Patton. But Hayes said to me. "That's naturally Charley Patton. He always wore a mustache when I played with him" and Hayes played with Patton twice in 1929 and 1930. He looked just like one of those Mexicans, Hayes said.
I had doubts that readers of the book would accept the photo as Patton but as there was only one other photo--the 1929 Paramount headshot of Patton-- we printed it in the 1988 book and noted it was a heavily retouched photo. You must look at the ears and forehead and at the indentation in the chin to see the similarities of the 1910 photo and the 1929 one after Patton had 20 years of heavy drinking and living behind him. Also they brushed the hair across without a part or showing his kinky curls and it makes him look like an Italian. Moore's comments to Lizzie Washington when she was alive about the photo being Patton are on the interview tapes at MTSU where she said Patton was her husband and he had the portrait made for her. I can assure you I realized there would be doubt and questions about the portrtait being Patton but I was willing to take that risk. It would have been easier to not even have included it in the book. But I did for blues lovers like you on this forum. I still have the portrait today unrestored.

Online Johnm

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Re: Charlie Patton Photo?
« Reply #51 on: November 08, 2011, 12:23:04 PM »
Hi all,
What it seems has not been considered is that the portrait is, in fact, a portrait of Charlie Patton, but is an idealized or otherwise not particularly faithful rendering of his features even at the time of his life that it was made.
All best,
Johnm 

Offline banjochris

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Re: Charlie Patton Photo?
« Reply #52 on: November 08, 2011, 01:33:56 PM »
What it seems has not been considered is that the portrait is, in fact, a portrait of Charlie Patton, but is an idealized or otherwise not particularly faithful rendering of his features even at the time of his life that it was made.

I agree -- the artist's ability is a major factor. I for one would love to see what it looked like unretouched.
Chris

Offline Rivers

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Re: Charlie Patton Photo?
« Reply #53 on: November 08, 2011, 08:13:06 PM »
Clarification is needed here. Is it a portrait, as in a painting? Or a retouched 'portrait' photograph? I was assuming the latter.
The angle of the eyes still seem different to me, and those things don't tend to change over time, no matter how much booze one packs away.

Offline banjochris

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Re: Charlie Patton Photo?
« Reply #54 on: November 08, 2011, 08:20:00 PM »
From Gayle Dean Wardlow's quote above: I found the portrait--not a photo-on a plantation at Sumner, Miss. in 1967 after Willie Moore and Hayes McMullan both of whom had played with Patton told me a lady on the plantation had just died and she had a picture of Patton.


I believe the Patton bio also stated that it was a painted portrait, and that the version as published was a retouched photo of same.

CORRECTION: The Patton bio describes it as a portrait that Patton "sat for," so I always assumed it was a drawing/painting, as Wardlow seems to confirm above.
Chris
« Last Edit: November 08, 2011, 08:25:54 PM by banjochris »

Offline TallahatchieTrot

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Re: Charlie Patton Photo?
« Reply #55 on: November 09, 2011, 08:51:46 PM »
Thought I would just add this comment.  It is a portrait on a piece of what I call cardboard.  That I assume is how portraits were done in the early 1900s.  It was definitely not a PHOTO but a portrait as I understand what a portrait is.  It was broken in two pieces when I got and it is still in 2 pieces.  I do not know if a photo was first taken and then the artist/photogrpaher did a portrait from it or how they did portraits in those years.   It does not look to be like a painting or a drawing.  It certainly looked to be retouched however since they covered up his curly/kinky hair and didn't show it. I wil go to my online tapes at MTSU  and find the exact place at the end of one of the inerview tapes where I interviewed briefly the daughter of the woman who had the portrait and  let you'll listen to her comments about the portrait which all 3 of them--Willie Moore/Hayes McMullan called a picture. The portrait is on carboard about 1/4 inch thick. The ears/ the identation in the chin and the large forehead were the items I found that made it appear to be Patton to me besides Moore/McMullan personally saying it was the Patton they both knew. --that he always had a mustache also when they saw him. gdw

Offline Rivers

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Re: Charlie Patton Photo?
« Reply #56 on: November 10, 2011, 04:32:13 PM »
Fascinating, thanks GDW, it's hard to argue with guys that knew him.

Offline Stumblin

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Re: Charlie Patton Photo?
« Reply #57 on: November 10, 2011, 04:57:40 PM »
Clarification is needed here. Is it a portrait, as in a painting? Or a retouched 'portrait' photograph? I was assuming the latter.
The angle of the eyes still seem different to me, and those things don't tend to change over time, no matter how much booze one packs away.
Does "picture" mean "drawing" or "painting," or possibly either or both?
The question is: was the "picture" a retouched version of a photograph, or was it entirely the work of a graphic artist?
Or did a graphic artist retouch elements of a photograph?

Offline Rivers

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Re: Charlie Patton Photo?
« Reply #58 on: November 10, 2011, 06:38:00 PM »
Stumblin, I think you'll find the answer to your question in GDW's last post. We simply do not know.

Quote
I do not know if a photo was first taken and then the artist/photogrpaher did a portrait from it or how they did portraits in those years.   It does not look to be like a painting or a drawing

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Charlie Patton Photo?
« Reply #59 on: November 10, 2011, 08:11:37 PM »
@ Gayle Wardlow, Is it possible for you to get a high resolution scan 300-600dpi done at a Kinkos or some other place with decent equipment, scan it full size (what is its full size btw?) and post it here, or send it to my email so we can get a better look at it. It sounds as though you're describing a retouched photograph but it could as easily be a drawing or grisaile painting. There was no color I presume? If I could see detail I could say with a fair amount of certainty what media we are dealing with.
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