One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural cartes de visitehistorical
A small photographic portrait of a person, mounted on a piece of card.
photograph, photo, studio portrait, picture, shot, study, still, snap, snapshot, vignetteView synonyms
- ‘By the 1860s, entrepreneurs were mass-producing cartes de visite - small photographic prints that originated as calling cards - of well-known figures.’
- ‘For the rich and famous, a carte de visite with a dignified photograph of its owner became a necessary social tool.’
- ‘The photograph could have been used on a postcard or sold as a souvenir carte de visite.’
- ‘These cartes de visite became hugely popular in the 1860s and brought likenesses of scientific authors (and many other individuals) before the Victorian public.’
- ‘The cabinet card uses the same method as the carte de visite but in a larger format, for display in a ‘cabinet’.’
Mid 19th century: French, ‘visiting card’.
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