Julia Margaret Cameron (British (born India), Calcutta 1815–1879 Kalutara, Ceylon)
Albumen silver print from glass negative
25.3 x 20.1 cm. (9 15/16 x 7 15/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Bequest of James David Nelson, in memory of Samuel J. Wagstaff Jr., 1988
Accession Number:
Not on view
"My aspirations are to ennoble Photography," wrote Cameron, "and to secure for it the character and uses of High Art by combining the real & Ideal...."

Rather than strive for superficial accuracy in costume and setting, Cameron sought to record through the faces of her family and friends the qualities of innocence, wisdom, piety, or passion ascribed to great biblical, historical, and legendary figures. Unconcerned with technical perfection in her prints, Cameron used a long exposure and shallow depth of field to give that slight sense of animation--of breath--that merges the young girl with her mythic character and seems to bring her into the viewer's presence.
Inscription: Signed and inscribed in ink on mount, recto LL: "From Life", LC: "Circe", LR: "Julia Margaret Cameron"; blind stamped on mount, recto LC: "[in oval] REGISTERED PHOTOGRAPH// SOLD BY// MESSRS COLNAGHI// 14 PALL MALL EAST// LONDON"
James David Nelson

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Nineteenth Century European Photographs: Recent Acquisitions," October 2, 1991–December 1, 1991.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 6," August 29, 1994–December 12, 1994.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Julia Margaret Cameron: Victorian Photographer," March 17, 1998–June 7, 1998.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 53," January 26, 2010–April 25, 2010.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Julia Margaret Cameron," August 19, 2013–January 5, 2014.

Cox, Julian, and Colin Ford. Julia Margaret Cameron: The Complete Photographs. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003. no. 983, p. 410.