Julia Margaret Cameron (British (born India), Calcutta 1815–1879 Kalutara, Ceylon)
Albumen silver print from glass negative
36.8 x 29.0 cm (14 1/2 x 11 7/16 in. )
The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1969
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]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Photograph: A Selection of Recent Acquisitions".
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Collecting Mission," January 1, 1975–January 1, 1976.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Collecting Mission," January 1, 1976.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Julia Margaret Cameron: Victorian Photographer," March 17, 1998–June 7, 1998.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Julia Margaret Cameron," August 19, 2013–January 5, 2014.
Cox, Julian, and Colin Ford. Julia Margaret Cameron: The Complete Photographs. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003. no. 407, p. 244.