Above left: "The Bronte
Sisters" (NPG 1725) painted in the 1830s.
Above right: "The Bronte Sisters
Branwell's 'Pillar Portrait' as originally envisaged used triangular
composition and he would have stood over his seated sisters. His ghostly figure can just be made
out in the centre (the pillar), where he painted himself out. He was actually shorter than Emily
so this conveniently exaggerated his height, allowing him to form the apex of the implied
If the 'Bronte Sisters Photo' is a copy of a daguerreotype then
this would have been a reversed image (as shown here) with the three
'sisters' seemingly seated in the same order as in the Pillar
Portrait.2. The photo also utilises triangular composition with 'Emily'
seated sideways, at a higher level, her height is exaggerated to form the apex.
Close examination of Branwell's portrait reveals that the three sisters have
three different nose shapes: Anne = convex, Emily = straight, Charlotte = concave and this is
the same for the respective 'sisters' in the photograph.