Julia Margaret Cameron (British (born India), Calcutta 1815–1879 Kalutara, Ceylon)
Albumen silver print from glass negative
32.8 x 23.7 cm (12 15/16 x 9 5/16 in.)
Gilman Collection, Purchase, Alfred Stieglitz Society Gifts, 2005
Not on view
This portrait of Julia Jackson, which is usually trimmed to an oval, suggests an antique cameo carved in deep relief. Its success lies partly in its subject’s actual beauty and partly in the way the photographer modeled it to suggest Christian and classical ideals of purity, strength, and grace. The photograph was made the year Julia married Herbert Duckworth. Three years later she was a widow and the mother of three children. Her second marriage, in 1878, to the great Victorian intellectual Sir Leslie Stephen, produced the painter Vanessa Bell and the writer Virginia Woolf. In her novel To the Lighthouse (1927), Virginia portrayed her mother as the searching, sensitive Mrs. Ramsay, ever suspended in thought. “She bore about with her, she could not help knowing it, the torch of her beauty; she carried it erect into any room that she entered.”
Inscription: Inscribed in pencil in Cameron's hand, verso BC : "Mrs. H. Duckworth"
(sold, Sotheby Belgravia, March 27, 1981, lot 491); Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York
Palais de Tokyo, Paris. "Procédés, Procédés," October 7, 1987–November 30, 1987.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," May 25, 1993–July 4, 1993.
Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," August 7, 1993–October 2, 1993.
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," June 19, 1994–September 11, 1994.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Julia Margaret Cameron: Victorian Photographer," March 17, 1998–June 7, 1998.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Photography from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," February 26, 1999–May 23, 1999.
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.
Apraxine, Pierre. Photographs from the Collection of the Gilman Paper Company. Reeds Springs, Mo.: White Oak Press, 1985. pl. 75.
Hambourg, Maria Morris, Pierre Apraxine, Malcolm Daniel, Virginia Heckert, and Jeff L. Rosenheim. The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. no. 30, p. 278.
Cox, Julian. Julia Margaret Cameron : the complete photographs. Getty Publications ed. Los Angeles, 2003. no. no. 311, p. 220.
Cox, Julian, and Colin Ford. Julia Margaret Cameron: The Complete Photographs. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003. no. 311, p. 220.