Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Artist

Julia Margaret Cameron (née Pattle) (Calcutta, 1815 - 1879, Dikoya Valley, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka))

Title

Portrait of Maud

Creation Date

1870-1872

Century

19th century

Dimensions

13 1/2 in. x 11 in. (34.29 cm. x 27.94 cm.)

Object Type

photograph

Creation Place

Europe, United Kingdom

Medium and Support

vintage albumen print from glass plate negative

Credit Line

Museum Purchase, Lloyd O. and Marjorie Strong Coulter Fund

Copyright

Public Domain

Accession Number

1994.9
Julia Margaret Cameron was a self-taught nineteenth-century photographer who, for approximately a decade during the height of the Victorian Era, made photographs of family, friends, and people hired to work for the family. By using photography to illustrate allegorical, religious, and literary themes, Cameron sought to raise the medium to a level of erudition equal with that of painting. In this photograph, Cameron’s parlor maid, Mary Hillier, poses as Maud, the title character of a Tennyson poem about a melancholic man’s forbidden love for the “queen rose of the rosebud garden of girls”. Deliberately photographed slightly out of focus, this moody visualization of Tennyson’s poem shows a somber young woman standing against a brick wall wreathed in passionflowers.

Keywords: portraits  

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