Julia Margaret Cameron (English, 1815–1879)
Image/Sheet (top corners rounded): 36.1 x 28.1 cm (14 3/16 x 11 1/16 in.) Mount: 49.9 x 39.1 cm (19 5/8 x 15 3/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
Photograph, albumen print
Not On View
Julia Margaret Cameron took up photography at the age of forty-eight and became known for her portraits of notable Victorians, inspired by Old Master and Pre-Raphaelite painting. Family members, friends, and servants also served as her models for theatrical compositions based on stories from the Bible, poems by Tennyson, and even works of popular literature. In this portrait, the house servant Mary Hillier represents Adriana, the disappointed heroine of a serial novel published in 1866. Cameron admired her striking profile and often used this composition to represent women of strong character, such as Sappho and Psyche. The sculptural lines of Hillier’s features stand out against the thick, dark mass of her hair and the rich velvet of her gown, emphasizing the purity and seriousness of the wronged woman.
Inscribed, titled and signed below on mount: "From life not enlarged" (left, pen and brown ink), "Adriana" (center, pencil), "Julia Margaret Cameron." (right, pen and brown ink). Inscribed on mount, below in pen and brown ink: "for the Signor/fm. JMC" Arched border drawn in gold ink. Colnaghi: blind stamp bottom center.
William L. Schaeffer, New York; purchased October 1987.
Sophie M. Friedman Fund