The three Liddell sisters—Lorina, Elizabeth, and Alice—posed with the photographer’s husband playing the tragically deceived King Lear in one of Cameron’s few Shakespearean compositions. Goneril and Regan whisper false flattery in the aging king’s ear while the truly devoted but disinherited Cordelia—here unadorned and dressed in white—stands before him, an embodiment of disillusioned innocence.
Inscription: Inscribed by Cameron in black ink on mount, recto BL: "From life registered Photograph copy right; Signed in black ink on mount, recto BR: "Julia Margaret Cameron Freshwater Bay"; Title inscribed in pencil on mount, recto BC: "King Lear and his three Daughters"; Inscribed in pencil on mount, verso C: "A. C. Norman Esp. // The Bromley [crossed out] The Rookery // Bromley Common // Kent [underlined]; Royal Photographic Society labels on mount, verso C: numerous stamps and inscriptions. See verso image for further inscriptions and annotations.
[...]; A.C. Norman, Bromley Common, Kent, 1920s; on loan to the Royal Photographic Society from 1929, released May 17, 1978; [...]; [Thackrey & Robertson, San Francisco, 1980]; [...]; Paul F. Walter, New York; (Sotheby's London sale, May 10, 2001, lot 127); [Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs, New York, sold to Sendak on May 17, 2001]; Maurice Sendak
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. 1141, 460.