British photographic history

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Here's your chance to own the iconic Julia Jackson (1867) portrait taken by her aunt, Julia Margaret Cameron. Cameron made at least two negatives from the Spring 1867 sitting showing Jackson full-face with hair down.

One depicts Jackson with her head tilted downwards in a display of intimacy and tenderness. The other shows her confronting the viewer directly with a gaze that is altogether more defiant and powerful. Cameron was keen to show that the Victorian woman was not inward with a stony reserve but rather that she could exhibit myriad feelings that went against the stereotype of the period. The photographer employed a reversal technique to produce several variations from each negative - these are believed to be the only examples in her work of this technique, which she later abandoned in favour of soft focus to achieve the same ethereal results.
The other recorded versions of this image are in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Bodleian Library, Oxford (Henry Taylor Album), and a private collection in the UK (Norman Album).

Acquired by the present owner with full provenance (Sotheby's Belgravia, 26 June 1975, lot 55), Lot 4 (pre-sale estimate of £25,000 – 35,000) is up for graps at the next Bonhams Photographs sale, details of which can be found here.
Or a cheaper option is to head to the new V&A Photography Gallery, and view some JMC work up-close, and free-of-charge!


Photo: Julia Margaret Cameron (British, 1815-1879), Julia Jackson, 1867; Albumen print. 26.4 x 20.7cm (10 3/8 x 8 1/8in).

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