Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

The three Marys

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Isle of Wight (photographed)

  • Date:

    1864 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Cameron, Julia Margaret, born 1815 - died 1879 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Albumen print from wet collodion glass negative.

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Margaret Southam, 1941

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 311, box J

Julia Margaret Cameron's mentor and friend, the artist G.F. Watts wrote to Cameron, ‘Please do not send me valuable mounted copies … send me any … defective unmounted impressions, I shall be able to judge just as well & shall be just as much charmed with success & shall not feel that I am taking money from you.’ This is one of approximately 67 in the V&A's collection that was recently discovered to have belonged to him. Many are unique, which suggests that Cameron was not fully satisfied with them. Some may seem ‘defective’ but others are enhanced by their flaws. All of them contribute to our understanding of Cameron’s working process and the photographs that did meet her standards.

Physical description

A photograph of three standing woman (Mary Hillier, Mary Kellaway and Mary Ryan), all with draped heads.

Place of Origin

Isle of Wight (photographed)


1864 (photographed)


Cameron, Julia Margaret, born 1815 - died 1879 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Albumen print from wet collodion glass negative.


Height: 24.2 cm image, Width: 20.6 cm image

Descriptive line

Photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron, 'The three Marys' (sitters Mary Hillier, Mary Kellaway, Mary Ryan), albumen print, 1864

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Ford, Colin and Cox, Julian. Julia Margaret Cameron: The Complete Photographs. London: Thames and Hudson, 2003. Cat. no. 120, p.160, ill.
Taken from Photography Department index card catalogue


Photographic paper


Albumen process

Subjects depicted

Portraits; Woman; Religion; Dressmaker; Christianity; Resurrection; Servants


Photographs; Christianity; Religion


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.