Hosanna thumbnail 1
Hosanna thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F , Shelf 965, Case X, Box D

Hosanna

Photograph
1865 (photographed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Julia Margaret Cameron's friend and mentor, the painter 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 photograph 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.




object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Albumen print from wet collodion glass negative
Brief Description
Photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron, 'Hosanna' (sitters Mary Kellaway, Mary Ryan, Mary Hillier, Alice Keown), albumen print, 1865
Physical Description
A small naked child (Alice Keown) lies, with her eyes open, on a cushion holding the branch of a flower or plant. Three young women (Mary Kellaway, Mary Ryan and Mary Hillier) are positioned in a group behind the child.
Dimensions
  • Image height: 29cm
  • Image width: 22.4cm
Style
Credit line
Given by Mrs Margaret Southam, 1982
Object history
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.

Subject depicted
Summary
Julia Margaret Cameron's friend and mentor, the painter 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 photograph 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.





Associated Objects
Bibliographic References
  • Julian Cox and Colin Ford, et al. Julia Margaret Cameron: the complete photographs. London : Thames and Hudson, 2003. Cat. no. 140, p. 166.
  • Taken from Photography Department index card catalogue
Collection
Accession Number
PH.245-1982

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record createdJune 2, 2004
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