Numerous people have tweeted and blogged this 1881 family portrait as “People Ignoring People Before Cell Phones”. It was rather difficult to track down details on it, so we capture them here.
It was painted by Peder Severin Kroyer, a famous Dane known for painting scenes of 19th century Danish life.
It was commissioned by Heinrich Hirschsprung, a tobacco manufacturer and patron of the arts at that time. He became good friends with Kroyer, and Kroger would have known all of these family members he painted quite well. The painting was meant to show a happy engaged family for which he had a deep affection. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinrich_Hirschsprung cite]
Idea for future page: It strikes me right now that the big sin that people are reacting to with cell phones is not engagement with something else among others, but engaging with distant others, over the people in front of you. This violates the “natural order of things”, in a way that interacting with knitting, newspapers the view do not.