Julia Margaret Cameron

Julia Margaret Cameron

Took CLF to the National Portrait Gallery yesterday to see the Julia Margaret Cameron show. She wasn’t impressed, but liked the more colourful portraits elsewhere in the museum…

I thought the show was fantastic. Most of the prints are original XIX century carbon or albumen prints and are truly beautiful. I’ve never had the chance to see her stuff in the flesh, so this was really a bit of a treat. In particular, I was impressed with the full-size compositions, some prints, presumably made as contact prints from 10 × 8 glass negatives, look ‘cropped’ in that the composition’s elements fit tightly into the frame. I can understand managing light intensity across a face, but I’m guessing her rudimentary camera had a very unclear ground glass, she probably composed the images upside down and most likely couldn’t see the edges of her compositions, more likely just a central circle of light in the centre of the screen.

Anyway, I guess it’s just that the beauty of her work seems like a fluke at first, until you stand in a room surrounded by it:-) Well worth a visit.