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Photograph - Isabella Grace and Clementina Maude, 5 Princes Gardens
  • Isabella Grace and Clementina Maude, 5 Princes Gardens
    Hawarden, Clementina Viscountess, born 1822 - died 1865
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Isabella Grace and Clementina Maude, 5 Princes Gardens

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    South Kensington (photographed)

  • Date:

    ca. 1862-1863 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Hawarden, Clementina Viscountess, born 1822 - died 1865 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Albumen print from wet collodion glass negative

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Lady Clementina Tottenham

  • Museum number:

    457:555-1968

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 33, box HV

Lady Hawarden often photographed her two eldest daughters posing together in an embrace. Another female photographer of the time, Julia Margaret Cameron, also explored the theme of affection between women. Behind the subject lie the traditions of Christian imagery, most notably the New Testament story of the Visitation. In this narrative Mary, the future mother of Jesus Christ, visits her elderly cousin Elizabeth, who has just become pregnant with John the Baptist.

Lesbian readings have also been attached to Hawarden’s photographs in such works as Lillian Faderman’s Surpassing the Love of Men (1981) and Carol Mavor’s Becoming: The Photographs of Clementina, Viscountess Hawarden (1999). Such readings are later interpretations, far from the original meaning of the photographs. Nevertheless, they have served to keep Hawarden’s photographs current and widely circulated and discussed.

Physical description

Sepia photograph, mounted on green card, of two young women standing in an embrace

Place of Origin

South Kensington (photographed)

Date

ca. 1862-1863 (photographed)

Artist/maker

Hawarden, Clementina Viscountess, born 1822 - died 1865 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Albumen print from wet collodion glass negative

Dimensions

Height: 11.2 cm, Width: 8.0 cm

Historical context note

From departmental notes

'Clementina, Lady Hawarden (Untitled) Photographic Study (or) Study from Life (D.579) c.1862-c.1863 5 Princes Gardens, interior: Isabella Grace (three-quarter length; back to camera) and Clementina (three-quarter length), standing, hands on each other's shoulders, Clementina looking into Isabella Grace's face. 112 x 80 mm PH 457-1968:555 Literature: ed. Graham Ovenden, Clementina Lady Hawarden, 1974, p.92 (retouched). Microfilm: 3.19.523 The sisters seem interchangeable, entwined, one the mirror image of the other. Isabella Grace's face is not visible1 perhaps we are intended to read her expression in Clementina's eyes.'

Descriptive line

19thC; Hawarden C, D 579, 5 Princes Gardens, Isabella Grace, Clementina, c. 1862-63

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

Literature: ed. Graham Ovenden, Clementina Lady Hawarden, 1974, p.92 (retouched). Microfilm: 3.19.523

Production Note

Reason For Production: Exhibition
Reason For Production: Retail

Materials

Paper

Techniques

Albumen process

Subjects depicted

Clothing

Categories

Photographs; Portraits; Gender and Sexuality; Scotland

Production Type

Unlimited edition

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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