Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Beatrice

Artist:
Julia Margaret Cameron (British (born India), Calcutta 1815–1879 Kalutara, Ceylon)
Date:
1866
Medium:
Albumen silver print from glass negative
Dimensions:
36.8 x 29.0 cm (14 1/2 x 11 7/16 in. )
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1969
Accession Number:
69.607.9
Not on view
In this photograph, modeled closely on a painting then attributed to the Italian Baroque artist Guido Reni, May Prinsep plays the role of Beatrice Cenci, a sixteenth-century Roman woman whose sad tale of rape, revenge, and execution was retold in a nineteenth-century play by Percy Bysshe Shelley. While Cameron’s portraits of “men great thro’ genius” had the built-in appeal of celebrity, her portraits of “women great thro’ love” most often depended upon literary, artistic, historical, or biblical allusion for broader commercial appeal.
[Colnaghi & Co., London]

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