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Julia Margaret Cameron's Women Hardcover – September 29, 1998

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Julia Margaret Cameron's women are, in a word, lovely. The 19th-century photographer was best known in her lifetime for her portraits of such major figures of the era as Robert Browning, Thomas Carlyle, Charles Darwin, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Alfred Tennyson--many of whom were her friends and neighbors on England's Isle of Wight. But her rich images of women, which convey a wide range of real emotion and experience rarely openly expressed during the Victoria era, are arguably her strongest, most important works. Taking themes from the Bible, mythology, literature, and Renaissance painting, Cameron modeled the women around her--friends, servants, relatives--as Ophelia, Juliet, Queen Esther, Rachel, A Bacchante, Guinevere, and Mary, among others. Julia Jackson, the photographer's niece and future mother of Virginia Woolf, was Cameron's favorite model--and the one woman Cameron always cast as herself, titling one 1867 image My Favorite Picture of All My Works. My Niece Julia. Cameron's softly lit, unsmiling women with unpinned hair are full of sensuality, longing, sadness, and beauty. Their powerful emotions fill the dark shadows and diffused backgrounds of their portraits.

The plates for the book were borrowed from collectors around the world and reproduced on creamy, heavy stock that does fair justice to the original albumin prints. As Cameron was less concerned with technical exactitude than the essence of the image, the blurring brought on by a model's movement or insufficient light is faithfully maintained, serving to heighten the mystery and allure of the images. Three essays by noted art historians place Cameron and her work in historical and social context. And appendices offering biographical data on the models and a reproduction of Cameron's original price catalog are a substantive complement to the photographs. Julia Margaret Cameron's Women is an excellent example of an expertly conceived and beautifully executed artist monograph. --Jordana Moskowitz

Review

The is the book that Julia Margaret Cameron, the premier photographer of the Victorian era, has long deserved. Not only are the 63 full-page plates well chosen and superbly printed, but the texts ... place Cameron's work in arresting contexts. -- The New York Times Book Review, Andy Grundberg
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 1st edition (September 29, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300077815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300077810
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 9.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #628,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Paul Laub on January 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Most photographs here were made in ca. 1870. Looking through the book, I imagine that at that time photography was still so new, so unprecedented, that no one yet had idea of what portrait photography was to become. An art? Or a detailed recording of what the eye perceives? In this ambiguity, Julia Margaret Cameron shows herself in this volume to be great artist, a portrait photographer second to none. In the faces of her women, I can see stories and history as recorded nowhere else.
Most notable is the series of images of Julia Jackson. (She also appears on the front and back covers.) One can see her life evolve over the time span of the photos. These images become even more interesting upon learning she was mother of Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf. So here at last is the real Mrs. Ramsey.
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Format: Hardcover
julia margaret cameron's women contains 63 different plates representing magnificent victorian portraits photographed back in 1864 to 1874. every plates are monochromed in sepia or black & white. ...5 pages are consacrated to her models biographies,her favorite ones like: julia prinsep jackson (mother of virginia woolf & painter vanessa bell), mary ann hillier (her maid,cameron described her as one of the most beautiful & constant of her models.) , Alice Pleasance Liddell (aka the little girl from whom Lewis Caroll wrote "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" in 1865)..etc.. - 5 other pages focuses on cameron's Literary & mythological subjects:from "DAPHNE" (nymph pursued by the god Apollo) to "OPHELIA" (from shakespeare's "Hamlet")..all are well explained and presented...the rest of the 242 pages are dedicated to margaret's life, her debuts,her Illustrations to tennyson's "Idylls of the king", her different relations... - all fans of painting & photography should own this book! it is a unique reference! cameron was and still is one of the greatest portrait photographers of all time...
other interesting books in this genre: "Reflections in a looking Glass" a centennial celebration of Lewis carroll. , "Photo Historica" landmarks in photography , "a new history of photography" edited by michel frizot.
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Format: Hardcover
This amazing book is well worth the investment. These photos still have the power to knock one over the head with their dizzying beauty. Too often people look to the men who made up the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood for an ideal of the Victorian woman. For a fresh look, one should explore Victoriana through the eyes of the women themselves. Cameron's photography is the perfect counterpart to Christina Rosetti's poetry. Enjoy.
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