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Julia Margaret Cameron
Albumen silver print, from glass negative
25.3 x 20.1 cm (9 15/16 x 7 15/16 in.)
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Bequest of James David Nelson, in memory of Samuel J. Wagstaff Jr., 1988, Accession Number: 1990.1074.4
Curatorial description (Accessed: 21 Sept 2017)
"My aspirations are to ennoble Photography," wrote Cameron, "and to secure for it the character and uses of High Art by combining the real & Ideal...."
Rather than strive for superficial accuracy in costume and setting, Cameron sought to record through the faces of her family and friends the qualities of innocence, wisdom, piety, or passion ascribed to great biblical, historical, and legendary figures. Unconcerned with technical perfection in her prints, Cameron used a long exposure and shallow depth of field to give that slight sense of animation--of breath--that merges the young girl with her mythic character and seems to bring her into the viewer's presence.