The Story

From Pictorial Artistry: The Dramatization of the Beautiful in Photography
"Three hundred years ago this old medieval town of Zous on the Rhine had been relieved from the tyranny of a long and oppressive conquest during the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). Ever since, the inhabitants of the quaint old town have celebrated the anniversary of their freedom.
Now the festival is over. It had rained a bit, but this had not dampened the spirits of the villagers, as they re-enacted with dramatic pageantry the heroism and strife of the past. Men, women and children all participated and here we find a group of village maidens by a roof-covered well recounting their happy day.
The grouping is such that the interest is concentrated on the girl with her back turned to the camera. There is an easy grace of expression and pose in the grouping of the girls. On a circular base, the figures are arranged in pyramidal fashion, topped off by the roof of the well. The aged setting and the youthfulness of the girls are a pleasant contrast.
Technical Approach:
During the play, the stage and setting were overcrowded. But after the performance, I was able to achieve careful posing. Because it was late in the evening a long exposure was required, which made a tripod necessary.
Figures in the background had to be removed by etching and retouching.
Camera: 2 ¼ x 3 ¼ Makina
Lens: Anticomar
Opening: f.6.3
Exposure: ½ second
Film: Agfa Super Plenachrome
Print: 14x17 Defender Veltura"
by Adolf Fassbender, 1937
Currently not on view
date made
before 1937
Fassbender, Adolf
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
image: 8 3/4 in x 10 1/2 in; 22.225 cm x 26.67 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Adolf Fassbender, Pictorial Artistry
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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