Julia Margaret Cameron (British (born India), Calcutta 1815–1879 Kalutara, Ceylon)
Albumen silver print from glass negative
Image: 29.2 x 23.3 cm (11 1/2 x 9 3/16 in.)
Gilman Collection, Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation, 2005
Not on view
Déjatch Alámayou was taken to England after the British defeat of the Ethiopians at the battle of Magdala and the suicide of his father, Tewodros (Theodore) II, emperor of Ethiopia, in April 1868. Queen Victoria took an interest in Alámayou and saw to his education and protection, placing him in the care of Captain Tristram Speedy, who, like Cameron, had a home on the Isle of Wight. Speedy brought the child to Cameron’s house shortly after his arrival in England, and Cameron made ten photographs of the captain and his charge posed among Ethiopian exotica. In this image, the young orphaned prince cradles a little white doll and stares sadly into space, seemingly lost in thought. His name, Alámayou, means “I have seen the world.”
Inscription: Inscribed lower left on mount: "Julia Margaret Cameron"; lower right by original owner: "Photog. From life / given to me by Mrs. Cameron in a Railway Carriage. / August 1868 / L.L. MacGregor." Paper label attached to mount: "Dejatch Alamayou / ? / King Theodore's Son"
(sold, Sotheby's, Lot 57, November 5, 1984); Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Framing a Century: Master Photographers, 1840–1940," June 3, 2008–September 1, 2008.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Julia Margaret Cameron," August 19, 2013–January 5, 2014.