Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Julia Cameron photographed Victorian celebs

Portrait of Julia Cameron (1870) by her husband; inset: English actress Ellen Terry in a portrait titled Sadness (1864).
It is the birthday of pioneer British photographer Julia Margaret Cameron (1815), whose engaging portraits of Victorian celebrities like Charles Darwin and Alfred Lord Tennyson are considered valuable resources among art historians. Cameron met the rich and famous at salons on the Kensington Palace estate in London. She also lived on the Isle of Wight, where Tennyson was a neighbor and friend. Tennyson often brought famous friends over to visit. Cameron was known for her tightly cropped, soft focus images, a technique unusual for the time. Cameron also shot historical scenes and characters from literature. Tennyson asked her to create photographic illustrations for his massive narrative poem Idylls of the King (1859-1885).

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