5 of 14 portraits of Alice Liddell
© National Portrait Gallery, London and the National Media Museum (part of the Science Museum Group, London)
by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)
wet collodion glass plate negative, Spring 1860
5 in. x 6 in. (126 mm x 152 mm)
Purchased jointly with the National Media Museum, Bradford, through the Art Fund and the National Heritage Memorial Fund, 2002
Click on the links below to find out more:
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- Alice Pleasance Liddell (1852-1934), Inspiration for 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'; Daughter of Henry George Liddell. Sitter in 14 portraits.
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- Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) (1832-1898), Photographer and author of 'Alice in Wonderland'. Artist associated with 59 portraits, Sitter in 9 portraits.
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All photography is an attempt to fix the moment. This was the aim of the Oxford mathematician and author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson when he repeatedly photographed Alice Liddell. She was the daughter of Dodgson's friend Henry George Liddell, Dean of Christ Church in Oxford and it was for her that Dodgson wrote Alice's Adventures in Wonderland under the pseudonym of Lewis Carroll. In photographs that show Alice pretending to sleep, or posed as a beggar girl, Dodgson captured her high-spirits and playfulness. While the portraits belong to a genre of Victorian photograph that idealized childhood, such photographs can now seem disturbing to modern eyes. In 1863, Dodgson's friendship with the children ended abruptly. However, in 1870, Mrs Liddell commissioned a new portrait. The resulting image, conveys Alice's teenage awkwardness and Dodgson's regret at the passing of their 'wonderland'.