Tuesday, September 23, 2008
The Lady Cameron
Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879)
The beauty of early photography. Julia Margaret Cameron did not pick up a camera until the age of 48 when she received one as a gift. Cameron captured the beauty of her models, exposing emotion, substance, individuality and lyricism. Her portraits are painterly, truly exposing photography as a fine art beyond the simple realism many saw in it. She drew her models from her high Victorian society circle, also using them as props in the creation of scenes from her well read background of literature and poetry.
Her photography was not universally received, what many see now as a soft beauty in its aesthetic, was regarded by critics as week, lack of sharpness as amateur. Julia is a portrait of one of Cameron's favorite subject's, her niece, Julia Jackson (who was the mother of Virgina Woolf which I just discovered). I think that Cameron achieved her aspirations.
In Cameron's words:
"My aspirations are to ennoble Photography and to secure for it the character and uses of High Art by combining the real and Ideal and sacrificing nothing of the Truth by all possible devotion to Poetry and beauty." (http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artMakerDetails?maker=2026)