About this artwork

Cameron had privileged access to many of the most celebrated artists, writers and thinkers of her time. Her sister, Sarah Prinsep, hosted a cultural salon in London, where Cameron had the opportunity to meet her famous contemporaries. The Poet Laureate Lord Alfred Tennyson, who sat for Cameron on multiple occasions (jokingly calling Cameron’s subjects her ‘victims’), was also Cameron’s neighbour at Freshwater, Isle of Wight, and became one of her most trusted friends. In this near profile portrait, the poet laureate gazes into the distance, noble and stern. The background is deliberately plain to bring the focus to the sitter. Cameron always sought to capture both ‘the greatness of the inner as well as the features of the outer man’.

Julia Margaret Cameron

Julia Margaret Cameron