Albumen print, photograph of Mary Hillier (1847-1936), by Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879) whose 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. Hillier, the subject here, was one of Cameron's maids. 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.
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London