Exhibitions/ Art Object

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Artist:
Julia Margaret Cameron (British (born India), Calcutta 1815–1879 Kalutara, Ceylon)
Date:
July 4, 1866
Medium:
Albumen silver print from glass negative
Dimensions:
35 x 27 cm (13 3/4 x 10 5/8 in. ) irregular
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
The Rubel Collection, Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace, Michael and Jane Wilson, and Harry Kahn Gifts, 1997
Accession Number:
1997.382.36
Not on view
When Cameron's husband retired in 1848 from the Calcutta Council of Education and the Supreme Council of India, they moved to England, settling first in Tunbridge Wells, near Charles's old friend the poet Henry Taylor, and later in Putney Heath, near the poet laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson and his wife. For Cameron, these men were not merely friends and neighbors, but also intellectual, spiritual, and artistic advisors. In 1860, while her husband was in Ceylon checking on the family coffee plantations, Cameron visited the Tennysons' new home at Freshwater on the Isle of Wight and promptly purchased two cottages next door, which she joined together as the new family home.
Cameron's friendship and determination knew no bounds-indeed, her kindness could be overbearing at times. It took three years of pleading before Cameron convinced Tennyson (who jokingly referred to her models as "victims") to sit for his portrait.
Inscription: Signed and inscribed in ink on mount: "From Life July 4th 1864" and "A. Tennyson" (likely signed by subject himself); Colnaghi blindstamp and gilt outline on mount
[Colnaghi, March 29, 1978, cat. 166]; [Sean Thackrey]; Rubel Collection

Print incorrectly inscribed "July 4th 1864"
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