This image is one of the more interesting examples of the Victorian tradition of post-moretem photography and collecting of memento mori. In the 19th century, death was more openly celebrated and discussed than in current times. Photos of the deceased, especially young children, were the only images or memento they had of these individuals. This image is particularly fascinating because it immortalizes a beloved animal in a very sweet manner. Though, for today's standards it might seem a bit morbid due to the animal being a corpse. However, I feel I can relate to the preservation of this rabbit's visage. My dad, being a hunter and fisherman, brought home many trophy animals that my siblings and I would display in photos. We also grew up with many pets, some of which my dad would breed, so we also had images of the family with quite a few litters as well.
In my own studio practice I have been looking into ways in which we memorialize our dead. This simple, striking image, that is so sweet yet could be tough to look at for some, inspires me to confront and embrace the celebration of those who have passed on before me. The value of the individual is immense and should be honored and discussed after they cease to breathe. We still learn from their former presence in our lives and can continue to enrich our thoughts