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Thursday
Oct292009

On The Famous von Wright Photos

Here is a statement from the photographer of the famous photos of Wittgenstein and Georg Henrik von Wright in Cambridge in 1950. The photos were some of the last ever taken of Ludwig. (von Wright was Wittgenstein's successor at Cambridge and also one of his executors).

"In the late spring of 1950 we had tea with the von Wrights in the garden. It was a sunny day and I asked Wittgenstein if I could take a photograph of him. He said, yes, I could do that, if I would let him sit with his back to the lens. I had no objections and went to get my camera. In the meantime Wittgenstein had changed his mind. he now decided I was to take the picture in the style of a passport photograph, and von Wright was to sit next to him. Again I agreed, and Wittgenstein now walked off to get the sheet off his bed; he would not accept Elisabeth von Wright's offer of a fresh sheet from her closets. Wittgenstein draped the sheet, hanging it in front of the veranda and pulled up two chairs."

-- K.E. Tranoj [the "o" requires a special character I am unable duplicate here -- sw]

Sources: Michael Nedo, Michele Ranchetti, “Ludwig Wittgenstein, Sein Leben in Bildern und Texten, Suhrkamp,” 1983 at p. 471-473;  and Michael Nedo, Guy Moreton and Alec Finlay, “Ludwig Wittgenstein, There Where You are Not,” 2005, at p. 84.

Here are the pictures, albeit a little cropped:

http://www.helsinki.fi/filosofia/VonWrightArchives/img001pieni.jpg

http://www.kolumbus.fi/jukerk/wittgenstein_wright.jpg

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_yQs1YHZPurs/Rw-QZ0pv9rI/AAAAAAAAAHg/fTyGALlzqdA/s320/Witt+and+von+Wright.jpg

-- Dr. Sean Wilson, Esq.

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