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Photograph - Marianne North
  • Marianne North
    Cameron, Julia Margaret, born 1815 - died 1879
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Marianne North

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Sri Lanka (photographed)

  • Date:

    1877 (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:

    PH.256-1982

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H, case 311, shelf T

Julia Margaret Cameron’s photographic production slowed considerably after she moved to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) with her husband in 1875. The botanical painter Marianne North was the only European to sit for Cameron in Ceylon. In her memoir, North described the discomfort of posing for the camera under the tropical sun.

Physical description

Photograph of the head and shoulders of a woman (Marianne North) wearing a lace head dress, resting her head in her left hand and looking to the left. In front of her is an open book.

Place of Origin

Sri Lanka (photographed)

Date

1877 (photographed)

Artist/maker

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

Materials and Techniques

Albumen print from wet collodion glass negative

Dimensions

Height: 28.3 cm image, Width: 23.3 cm image, Height: 40.3 cm mount, Width: 30.5 cm mount

Object history note

Julia Margaret Cameron's career as a photographer began in 1863 when her daughter gave her a camera. Cameron began photographing everyone in sight. Because of the newness of photography as a practice, she was free to make her own rules and not be bound to convention. The kinds of images being made at the time did not interest Cameron. She was interested in capturing another kind of photographic truth. Not one dependent on accuracy of sharp detail, but one that depicted the emotional state of her sitter.

Cameron liked the soft focus portraits and the streak marks on her negatives, choosing to work with these irregularities, making them part of her pictures. Although at the time Cameron was seen as an unconventional and experimental photographer, her images have a solid place in the history of photography.

Most of Cameron's photographs are portraits. She used members of her family as sitters and made photographs than concentrated on their faces. She was interested in conveying their natural beauty, often asking female sitters to let down their hair so as to show them in a way that they were not accustomed to presenting themselves. In addition to making stunning and evocative portraits both of male and female subjects, Cameron also staged tableaux and posed her sitters in situations that simulated allegorical paintings.

Descriptive line

Photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron, 'Marianne North', albumen print, 1877

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

Julian Cox and Colin Ford, et al. Julia Margaret Cameron: the complete photographs. London : Thames and Hudson, 2003. cat. no. 1197, p. 488.

Labels and date

Julia Margaret Cameron: A Bicentenary Exhibition

Marianne North
1877

Cameron’s photographic production slowed considerably after she moved to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) with her husband in 1875. The botanical painter Marianne North was the only European to sit for Cameron in Ceylon. In her memoir, North described the discomfort of posing for the camera under the tropical sun.

Given by Mrs Margaret Southam, 1941
Museum no. PH.256-1982
[18 November 2014 – 25 September 2016]

Materials

Photographic paper

Techniques

Albumen process

Subjects depicted

Woman; Portraits; Naturalists; Artists

Categories

Photographs; Portraits

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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