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Julia Margaret Cameron

Julia Margaret Cameron, by Henry Herschel Hay Cameron (later The Cameron Studio), circa 1873 -NPG P696 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Julia Margaret Cameron

by Henry Herschel Hay Cameron (later The Cameron Studio)
Albumen print, removed from album and mounted on card, circa 1873
9 5/8 x 8 in. (244 x 203 mm)
NPG P696

Inscriptionback to top

Inscr. in ink (in sitter’s hand): ‘From life registered photograph copyright Julia Margaret Cameron taken by Henry Herschel Hay Cameron / Julia Margaret Cameron’.
On back of mount inscr.: ‘Garnett / Bell Coll’.

This portraitback to top

This image was taken by the sitter’s son Henry Herschel Hay Cameron (see NPG P148) who took up photography in the early 1870s, probably as his mother’s assistant and copyist.[1] The inscription suggests that this portrait was produced with her assistance, probably as a practice piece. An alternative print in circular format is in the National Media Museum, Bradford (1990-5036/11504).

A print of a second image from the same sitting (see ‘All known portraits, Photographs, c.1873 [b]') was dated 1874 by the sitter. In 1870 Henry Hay Cameron was aged 18–19; in 1871 he quit Oxford after two terms; in November 1873 he left Britain for Ceylon. It seems likely that this portrait dates from spring 1873, when he signed two prints of his mother’s work.[2] By this date, three of his brothers were already settled in Ceylon, so a portrait of their mother would have been a desirable memento.

The note on the back of the mount suggests the work passed from the sitter to her sister Maria Jackson or niece Julia Prinsep Stephen (née Jackson), thence to Julia’s daughter Vanessa Bell (née Stephen) and to her daughter Angelica Garnett (née Bell).

Dr Jan Marsh

Footnotesback to top

[1] See Cox & Ford 2003, p.84. Other known prints by H.H.H. Cameron date from 1873; from 1886 he managed The Cameron Studio in London.
[2] Cox & Ford 2003, nos 269, 372.

Physical descriptionback to top

Half-length, seated, half-profile to right, wart near nose, hair uncovered and ill-combed, wearing shawl with paisley-pattern border and dark mantilla-type scarf on shoulders fastened with brooch.

Conservationback to top

remounted 1997

Provenanceback to top

Purchased 1997.

View all known portraits for Julia Margaret Cameron


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