About this artwork

The Madonna and child is a recurrent image in Cameron’s body of work. As a devout Christian and a mother of six, the theme of the Madonna would have been particularly appealing to her.  For a Victorian woman, the Virgin Mary represented ideal femininity and gave a moral role model. In this image, the Virgin gently cradles the infant Christ who is the only one to meet the viewer’s gaze. Cameron often left traces of her  presence on the photographic plates, and her tactile technique is clearly visible in this image; she has scratched the emulsion off the upper right corner of the plate to introduce a halo effect that surrounds the Virgin’s head.

Julia Margaret Cameron

Julia Margaret Cameron