'The Angel at the Tomb' [Mary Hillier], 1870.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Albumen print by Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879) of Mary Hillier (1847-1936), one of Cameron's maids. Cameron often used friends, servants and neighbours as subjects, including the scientists Charles Darwin and John Herschel, and the poet Alfred Lord Tennyson. Much of her work reflects the Pre-Raphaelite painting style which was popular at the time. Her photographic portraits are considered among the finest in the early history of photography. She set up a private studio at her Isle of Wight home at the age of 48, after her daughter gave her a camera, and she became expert at using the collodion wet-plate process. In 1875 she and her husband moved to Ceylon, (now Sri Lanka), where she died in 1879.