These vivid color photos from the 1890s used retouching to make the world more real

"Of all the early color photographic processes to live and die, photochroms were perhaps the most sentimental. Subject matter notwithstanding—and in the 1890s photography existed primarily to expose the exotic and extol the monumental—the otherworldly color saturation of early photochroms (pronounced photochrome) are a reflection of the era’s yearnings and desires as much as any technological development in the medium. These garish spectacles, created as a response to the staid black-and-white images to which the world was accustomed, are mesmerizing in hindsight, in part because they show a world that never really existed."