This young man was possibly an ill child, posed for a pre-mortem photograph. His grip on the stick horse he rides appears to be that of a living person, but the tint added to his cheeks and his weak eyes contribute to the perception of sickness.
This is a Victorian post-mortem photograph. A post-mortem photo was a means for memorializing dead loved ones. One of the men is dead and is propped up to appear lifelike.this is the real photo that was used for the Lincoln/Poe Photoshop head swap!
This is part of the Dark Side of Victorian culture. The arrival of photography spawned the birth of post mortum photography of deceased family, friends, and even outlaws. It was a ghoulish practice that mercifully died out with the century.
Not a pm! Original discription: "Deceased Young Man Propped Up By A Form. if you look closely you see the prop rack at his feet that's holding him upright. This was a standard practice of the times." Answer: No, it was not a standard practice!
Typically, a post-mortem photograph depicted the dead person in a peaceful state of repose, as in a blissful deep sleep. But some of these post-mortem photos went further. Sometimes they liked to pose the deceased as if he/she was living:
The Truth Behind Victorian Post-Mortem Photography