'The Sybil', 1874.

Cameron, Julia Margaret Pattle

'The Sybil', 1874.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 27cm x 32cm


Albumen print. Photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879) based on a figure from the Sistine Chapel fresco in Rome, by Michelangelo (1475-1564). Cameron's 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. She 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. In 1875 she and her husband moved to Ceylon, (now Sri Lanka), where she died in 1879.

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© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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