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Julia Jackson, 1867

Julia Jackson, 1867
albumen print, mounted on board
signed, dated, annotated 'From life, Saxonbury' and inscribed 'For my beloved god child Addy Vaughan' in ink with Colnaghi blindstamp (mount, recto)
image/sheet: 9 7/8 x 7 7/8 in. (24.9 x 19.8 cm.)
mount: 15 x 11 1/4 in. (38.1 x 28.6 cm.)
Helios, Art Inc., New York;
acquired from the above by the present owner, 1978.
Maria Morris Hambourg, et. al., The Walking Dream, Photography’s First Century, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1993, pl. 30, pp. 34 and 278.
Sylvia Wolf, Julia Margaret Cameron's Women, The Art Institute of Chicago/Yale University Press, New Haven, 1999, pl. 61.
Julian Cox et al., Julia Margaret Cameron: The Complete Photographs, Getty Publications, Los Angeles, 2003, cat. no. 311, p. 220.
Exhibition catalogue, Qui a peur des femmes photographes? 1839-1945, Musée d’Orsay, Paris, 2015, p. 84.

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Rebecca Jones
Rebecca Jones

Lot Essay

The present lot shows Julia Margaret Cameron’s niece, a young and recently-wed Julia Jackson, modeled as an example of Victorian purity and grace. As a steady fixture in Cameron's work, Jackson appears in more than fifty portraits by Cameron, her natural beauty embodying the artist’s pursuit of ideal reality. The measured lighting of Cameron’s photographs demonstrates an intention to confront the unadorned beauty of her subjects; this particular example relies on Jackson's natural countenance to depict austere elegance. The present lot is a fine example of the manner and intention of Pre-Raphaelite paintings that informed and inspired Cameron’s work.

Julia Margaret Cameron entered into photography at the age of 48 and her large-format allegorical portraits challenged 19th-century conventions, helping push photography into the realm of fine art. With friends and family often appearing as the subjects of her portraits, the soft and blurred edges of Cameron’s photographs set her art apart from the commercial portraiture being produced in Europe at the time. The life-sized printing of these photographs also contradicted the norms of 19th-century photography, daring the viewer to face their own reality.

The rare print offered in the present lot is mounted, signed, inscribed to the artist's godchild, Addy Vaughan, and also bears the Colnaghi blindstamp. Early in her career, Cameron entered a business relationship with P.& D. Colnaghi & Co. in London, and the prints that were sold and distributed by Colnaghi can be traced, as they bear this distinct stamp.

Other prints of this image reside in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; National Portrait Gallery, London; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Royal Photographic Society; and Victoria & Albert Museum, London, among others.

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