Julia Margaret Cameron (British (born India), Calcutta 1815–1879 Kalutara, Ceylon)
Albumen silver print from glass negative
34.4 x 26.4 cm. (13 9/16 x 10 3/8 in.)
Bequest of James David Nelson, in memory of Samuel J. Wagstaff Jr., 1988
Not on view
This image, also titled After Perugino / The Annunciation, is one of more than 130 religiously themed images inspired by Cameron’s deep Christian devotion and her artistic admiration of Italian painting of the early Renaissance. Such photographs adhere to traditional iconography only in the broadest sense. Here, for example, Cameron follows the precedent of paintings of the Annunciation in which the angel Gabriel presents a lily—symbol of purity—to the Virgin Mary. More important, however, Cameron’s sincerity of sentiment imbues her work with an aura of devotion and claims for it a place equal to sacred art of the past. This print is inscribed For the Signor, indicating that it was a gift from Cameron to the painter G. F. Watts.
Inscription: Signed and inscribed in ink on mount, recto LL: "From Life", LC: "A Study", LR: "Julia Margaret Cameron", LC [near edge]: "For the Signor"; blind stamped on mount, recto LC: "[in oval] REGISTERED PHOTOGRAPH// SOLD BY// MESSRS COLNAGHI// 14 PALL MALL EAST// LONDON"
James David Nelson
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Nineteenth Century European Photographs: Recent Acquisitions," October 2, 1991–December 1, 1991.
Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery. "The Post-Pre-Raphaelite Print," October 10, 1995–December 16, 1995.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Julia Margaret Cameron: Victorian Photographer," March 17, 1998–June 7, 1998.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Framing a Century: Master Photographers, 1840–1940," June 3, 2008–September 1, 2008.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Julia Margaret Cameron," August 19, 2013–January 5, 2014.
Staley, Allen, Martha M. Evans, Pamela Fletcher, Yael Ksander, Lisa R. Leavitt, Jason Rosenfeld, and Paul Tabor. The Post-Pre-Raphaelite Print: Etching, Illustration, Reproductive Engraving, and Photography in England in and around the 1860s. New York: Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, 1995. pp. 136–37.
Cox, Julian, and Colin Ford. Julia Margaret Cameron: The Complete Photographs. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003. no. 113, p. 158.
This is a variant of the image entitled "The Annunciation".