Quote Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
Of course. I was only pointing out the reverse is also true and neither consideration trumps the other. As morbid and distasteful as I find it, I don't care if someone else wants to do it. And those who do it should realize that if you ask me if you can take a portrait of my deceased loved one (even if you have good intentions) you may be in for an unpleasant response.
And I think you made a very fair point that these things can be handled in a way that's VERY disturbing to some people, especially children. But it does evidently work both ways, and one person's "morbid" is another person's "beautiful", and vice versa. Probably the only thing that can be generally said is that no one size fits all, even within a given culture.

It probably is worth remembering that in the Victorian era with which deathbed portraits are most associated, death was a much more real presence in most people's lives than it is in the modern developed world. In some ways that familiarity seems to have made it less of a locus for "morbid and distasteful" for the Victorians than it is for many of us. The subject still reads differently in the rural world too, I think, for much the same reason.

-NT