The Red and White Roses, 1865

The Red and White RosePhotograph by Julian Margaret Cameron, 1865, Image of Kate and Elizabeth Keown , The Victoria & Albert Museum
Photographer Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879) was the child of James Pattle, an official with the East India Company and a French aristocratic mother. Julia, along with her sisters, was celebrated for her beauty and charm. Ultimately, Julia was sent from Calcutta to England to receive a formal education. There, she became friends with many notables of the day, including Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Julia became a regular at the Freshwater estate on the Isle of Wight which became known as something of a haven for artists. At
Freshwater, Julia became interested in photography. At the age of forty-eight, Julia was given a camera by her daughter and son-in-law. As the V&A puts it, “The gift marks the beginning of what would quickly become her all- encompassing application to the "art" of photography. Setting up the coal store as a dark-room and the glass-enclosed chicken house as a studio, she began her single handed photographic investigations fervently, annotating a portrait study of Annie Philpot ‘my first success’ a month later in January 1864.”  Cameron’s photography was often smudged and out-of-focus. This drew harsh criticism during her lifetime, but modern scholars think these choices were intentional. Here’s an excellent example of Cameron’s work--a photograph of the sisters Kate and Elizabeth Keown from the shoulders up. Kate is the sister holding the roses. The image was taken in 1865 on the Isle of Wight. Source: Stalking the Belle

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