Mrs Rejlander 'sneering' used in Darwin’s Expression of the Emotions of Man and Animals, 1872
Photograph in carte de visite format
Rejlander photographed his wife acting out contempt for an imagined enemy. Darwin was anxious to establish that this expression of 'sneering' was natural and universal in the human race, a relic of the snarling of animal ancestors. However, several critics of the time thought that the expressions in Rejlander’s photographs were stagey and unreal. They argued that the true expressions of the Victorians—at least those of cultured people—were far more understated and subtle.
Darwin Papers, Cambridge University Library.