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. Alfred, Lord 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 soft focus portrait, Tennyson’s face stands out prominently against the dark background, and the close crop draws attention to the poet’s averted, pensive gaze. 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