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Creator Name: Cameron, Julia Margaret
Creator Nationality: European; British
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: 1815 - 1879
Biography: Julia Margaret Cameron British, 1815-1879Born in Calcutta to a French mother and an English father employed by the East India Company, Julia Margaret Cameron was a key figure in the development of photography both in Britain and abroad. She was sent, under the care of her grandmother, to France for her education. Marriage to jurist Charles Hay Cameron took her back to India in 1838, and to England in 1848, where in 1860 the family finally settled on the Isle of Wight. Three years later Cameron received her first camera, a gift from her daughter, as a way to pass the time while her husband was away on an extended trip to Ceylon. For the next 15 years, Cameron's passion for photography, and her fortunate position among Britain's cultural elite, allowed herto produce a series of portraits, allegories, and illustrations that are among the most admired and influential of photographic images. Frequently marked by a loose, soft style, her portraits of well-known figures, such as Sir John Herschel, Thomas Carlyle, and Ellen Terry, reveal her subject's character in an unusually forceful manner. Her allegories and tableaux often include neighbors and friends like Lord Tennyson and her artistic mentor, the Pre-Raphaelite painter G. F. Watts. In 1874 she illustratedTennyson's popular long poem Idylls of the King. In 1875, after the death of her daughter, Cameron returned to Ceylon with her husband, joining their five sons. There she continued to photograph until her death in 1879. A later generation was introducedto Cameron's work by Alfred Stieglitz, who reproduced a selection from it in Camera Work. T.W.F.
Creator Name-CRT: Julia Margaret Cameron
Title: Queen of the May
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1875
Creation End Date: 1875
Creation Date: 1875
Object Type: Photographs
Classification Term: Photography
Materials and Techniques: albumen print from wet collodion negative
Dimensions: Image: 34.9cm x 26.6cm
Inscriptions: Written in brown ink on recto: "From Life Registered Photograph Copyright Julia Margaret Cameron Freshwater, May 1875 / 'For I'm to be the Queen O the May Mother,' / 'I'm to be Queen O 'the May'/ For the beloved Invalid."; in pencil on verso: "oak & gilt"; "248 [circled]"; "-79-1749"
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1984.166
Credit Line: John L. Severance Fund
Context: Although she took up photography only at the age of 48, Julia Margaret Cameron produced some of the most revealing and dynamic portraits of the 19th century. She convinced many of the most distinguished and creative individuals of her day, including mensuch as Charles Darwin and Henry W. Longfellow, to sit for their portraits. Cameron also illustrated biblical and literary subjects, such as the romantic poetry of Alfred Lord Tennyson, which ofter inspired her work. For this image, Cameron used a favorite model, her niece May Prinsep, to illustrate Tennyson's poem, "The May Queen." Typical of Cameron's style, the sitter was photographed close-up, with the background simplified and reduced to a flat plane. The emotional intensity of the model dominates the photograph.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1984.166
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art
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