Since 1899, when beginning to portray herself, Josefina Oliver strengthens her identity with a double assertion of the self: for the photo itself and the reinforcing of the epigraph ‘I’ which she adds to many copies.
The interest in her own personality, the gaze over her day-to-day, the analysis of the passing of time through herself, will be a constant all along her life.
In those first takes, she shows herself ‘de trapillo’, (home-dressed); she invites us into her bedroom, to see her in moments alone with herself in which she dresses up, reads or thinks.
A quiet and substantial privacy.
She reproduces herself with an epoque stereotype: as a ‘reader’, but stating a subtle manifesto when choosing the book ‘The Woman’, written by Jules Michelet in 1859.
Her cut self-portrait is eloquent, with neither her mouth nor her body, where she only breathes and sees.
She probably points out the way in which she speaks freely through her photos, while when writing her Diary she veils her intimacy, keeping a Victorian tone, full of ‘good forms’ and of what is ‘ought’ to be said.