30 Amazing Early Portrait Photos From the Victorian Era

British photographer Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879) has been described as one of the Finest portraitists of the nineteenth century-in any medium. Raised in a well-connected and creative family, Cameron led an unconventional life for a woman of the Victorian age. After devoting herself to an artistic and literary salon at her home on the Isle of Wight and raising eleven children, Cameron took up photography in her late forties.

Over the next fourteen years, she produced more than a thousand strikingly original and often controversial images. Her searching portraits of her friends and acquaintances, including Alfred Tennyson and Charles Darwin, have been called the world’s first close-ups.

May Day, 1866
Circe, 1865
The Five Foolish Virgins, 1864
Il Penseroso, 1864–1865
Long-Suffering, Gentleness, Goodness
Summer Days, 1866
Sappho, 1865
The Passing Of Arthur, 1875. From Illustrations to Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, and Other Poems, Volume II.
Kate Dore, 1862
Paul and Virginia, 1864
Mrs. Herbert Duckworth, 1872
Annie; ‘My first success,’ 1864
Lady Adelaide Talbot, May 1865
Lady Adelaide Talbot, May 1865
Christiana Fraser-Tytler, c. 1864-1865
Sappho, 1865
Christabel, 1866
Beatrice 1866
Julia Jackson 1867
Hosanna 1865
Portrait of Julia Margaret Cameron by her son, about 1870
Vivien and Merlin from Illustrations to Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, 1874
Lady Elcho / A Dantesque Vision, 1865
Resting in Hope; La Madonna Riposata, 1864
St. Agnes, 1864
The Dream, 1869
Henry Taylor, October 10, 1867
Charles Darwin, 1868
Portrait of Herschel, April 1867
Henry Cole, 1868

(Photos by Julia Margaret Cameron)

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