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Julia Margaret Cameron
Albumen silver print, from glass negative
25.5 x 20.1 cm (10 1/16 x 7 15/16 in. )
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1941, Accession Number: 41.21.24
Curatorial description (Accessed: 21 Sept 2017)
When they retired to England in 1848, the Camerons settled in Tunbridge Wells near Henry Taylor (1800–1886), Charles’s old friend and colleague from the Colonial Office. In addition to a distinguished career in civil service, Taylor was a widely recognized poet and playwright, and Julia Margaret was an enthusiastic admirer of his work. He was among her most frequent photographic models, submitting to her direction, she said, “regardless of the possible dread that sitting to my fancy might be making a fool of himself.” He posed not only for straightforward portraits such as the two displayed here but also consented to play the roles of Friar Laurence with Juliet, Prospero with Miranda, and Ahashuerus with Queen Esther (holding Cameron’s fireplace poker as his scepter), appearing in thirty-two photographs all told.