Sir Galahad and the Pale Nun

Photograph
September 1874 (photographed)
Sir Galahad and the Pale Nun thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

In 1874 Alfred Tennyson, the Poet Laureate, invited Cameron to make photographic illustrations to Idylls of the King, his series of narrative poems based on the legends of King Arthur. After her large photographs were published as small, wood-cut copies, Cameron decided to produce an edition illustrated by original photographic prints accompanied by hand-written extracts from the poems printed in facsimile. She claimed to have made as many as 245 exposures to arrive at the 25 she finally published in two volumes in 1874 and 1875.


object details
Category
Object Type
Additional TitleIdylls of the King, and other poems, vol. 1 (series title)
Materials and Techniques
Albumen print from wet collodion glass negative
Brief Description
Photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron, 'Sir Galahad and the Pale Nun' (sitters Mr. Coxhead, Mary Hillier), albumen print, 1874
Physical Description
A photograph of a standing man (Mr. Coxhead) in profile wearing a helmet and chain 'maille' with cross on chest (Sir Galahad) being embraced by a woman in profile (Mary Hillier) in nun's dress.
Dimensions
  • Image height: 350mm
  • Image width: 270mm
  • Mount height: 430mm
  • Mount width: 330mm
Style
Credit line
Given by Miss Agnes May Ffytche, 1927
Object history
Originally part of a bound folio volume containing 11 photographs by Cameron and 11 pages of verse text by Tennyson and 3 other text pages (two photographs are missing, the frontispiece image of Tennyson and the last image, 'The Passing of Arthur'). Volume 1 of two albums of illustrations to Tennyson's 'Idylls of the King and other Poems' published by Henry S. King & Co., 1874-75). Each photograph is mounted on bluish mounts with gilt borders.
Subjects depicted
Association
Literary Reference'Illustrations to Tennyson's Idylls of the King, and other poems', vol. 1, by Julia Margaret Cameron. London: Henry S. King & Co., 1875.
Summary
In 1874 Alfred Tennyson, the Poet Laureate, invited Cameron to make photographic illustrations to Idylls of the King, his series of narrative poems based on the legends of King Arthur. After her large photographs were published as small, wood-cut copies, Cameron decided to produce an edition illustrated by original photographic prints accompanied by hand-written extracts from the poems printed in facsimile. She claimed to have made as many as 245 exposures to arrive at the 25 she finally published in two volumes in 1874 and 1875.
Associated Object
88:1-1970 (text)
Bibliographic References
  • Ford, Colin and Cox, Julian. Julia Margaret Cameron: The Complete Photographs. London: Thames and Hudson, 2003. Cat. no. 1169, p.474, ill.
  • Lukitsh, Joanne. Cameron: Her Work and Career. Rochester, N.Y.: International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, 1986, p.30.
  • Weaver, Mike. Julia Margaret Cameron 1815-1879. Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1984, p.79.
Collection
Accession Number
88-1970

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record createdJuly 1, 2009
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