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Delicate 19th Century Portraits by Julia Margaret Cameron

One of the most notable photographers of the 19th century, Julia Margaret Cameron became known for the beautiful and delicate portraits she took throughout her relatively short-lived career. Revisit the impressive works of the British master portraitist after the jump!

Mary Mother, with Mary Ann Hillier as model. Photographed by Cameron in 1867. Photo via Wikipedia

“I longed to arrest all beauty that came before me, and at length the longing has been satisfied.”

British 19th century portraitist Julia Margaret Cameron was once quoted saying the words of wisdom above, and seeing her photos, one can’t help but feel that she was indeed successful in immortalizing the natural beauty of her chosen subjects. She photographed both men and women, young and old, actresses and intellectuals, and created some of the most impressive portraits of her time. Even Charles Darwin, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Sir Henry Taylor, and Sir John Herschel looked fascinating and graceful in their pensive portraits.

Charles Darwin, photographed by Cameron in 1868. Photo via Wikipedia.
Alfred Lord Tennyson, photographed by Cameron in 1869. Photo via Wikipedia.
Sir John Herschel with Cap, photographed by Cameron 1867. Photo via Photo Tractatus on Flickr
Sir Henry Taylor, photographed by Cameron in 1867. Photo via V&A’s Collections

Heavily influenced by Pre-Raphaelite art, Cameron’s work is characterized by soft-focused and cropped portraits, her subjects made to pose and look like some of the religious and literary characters from the art movement. As one of the first photographers who used the Petzval Lens invented in 1840, Cameron’s work is a testament of the beginnings of portraiture and how powerful it can be, whether to capture a subject’s natural beauty or tell a story.

Take a look at some more of Julia Margaret Cameron’s delicate portraiture below:

The Echo, with Hatty Campbell as the model. Photographed by Cameron in 1868. Photo via Wikipedia
Angel of the Nativity, photographed by Cameron in 1872. Photo via Wikipedia
Circe, photographed by Cameron around 1865. Photo via Londonist
Julia Prinsep Stephen, née Jackson, Cameron’s niece and favorite subject. She was a known beauty of her time and was also a favorite of the Pre-Raphaelites. She became the mother of famous English author Virginia Woolf. Photo taken by Cameron in 1867 via Alex Waterhouse-Hayward’s Blog
The Mountain Nymph, Sweet Liberty, photographed by Cameron in 1866. Photo via Photo Tractatus on Flickr
Beatrice Cenci, with Kate Keown as the model. Photographed by Cameron in 1868. Photo via Wikipedia
Julia Prinsep Stephen, photographed by Cameron in 1856. Photo via Pictify
The Gardener’s Daughter, with Mary Ryan as the model. Photographed by Cameron in 1867. Photo via Wikipedia

written by plasticpopsicle

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