- Lewis Payne by Alexander Gardner, 1865.
Three photos of Lewis Payne waiting to die in his jail cell.
Payne attempted to assassinate Secretary of State William H. Seward in his home. He was also one of four people hanged for the Lincoln assassination conspiracy.
Roland Barthes cites the middle image in Camera Lucida, explaining that "...the photograph is handsome, as is the boy: that is the studium...and the punctum is: he is going to die."
This idea that the boy is handsome, but more importantly, alive, creates a paradox; because when we look at this image, he is dead - and in the image, he is waiting to die.