Julia Margaret Cameron British, born India

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.

Beatrice, Julia Margaret Cameron (British (born India), Calcutta 1815–1879 Kalutara, Ceylon), Albumen silver print from glass negative

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