November 9, 2011
PARIS.- Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs, New York, will present Julia Margaret Cameron and Other Early Portraits at Paris Photo from 10-13 November 2011. The exhibition honors the fair's move to the glass-domed Grand Palais, as the 19th century British photographer Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879) worked in her own glass house, a former greenhouse, which served as her studio at her home on the Isle of Wight. More than 30 photographs will be on view, featuring work by Cameron and such early masters as William Henry Fox Talbot, Roger Fenton, Oscar Gustav Rejlander, and others.
Among the 19th century's greatest portraitists, Cameron began her career in photography at the age of 48, when she received a camera as a gift from her daughter. She moved in the highest circles of Victorian society and counted artists, writers, and scientists among her close friends. Her albumen prints at Paris Photo will include portraits of Sir John Herschel, 1867, the famous astronomer who first introduced the idea of photography to Cameron; Andrew K. Hichens, 1874, a leading broker in the London stock exchange and a patron of the arts; and Madonna and Child, 1866, in which Cameron used her parlor maid, Mary Hillier, as a model.
The earliest portrait on view will be William Henry Fox Talbot's calotype negative, Charles Porter and another man seated at a table with an urn, c. 1842-1843. With its elaborate urn, mismatched chairs, and casually draped backdrop, this tableau was set up at Lacock Abbey, Talbot's home. Talbot (1800-1877) conceived of the very idea of photography during the 1830s, using light-sensitive chemistry to create the negative/positive process.
The Welsh master John Dillwyn Llewelyn (1810-1882) used family members to stage scenes for his photographs. The fortune teller, 1856, one of his best-known works, is a superb coated salt print portraying a clairvoyant and her client. In it, his daughter is depicted having her palm read by a Welsh relative while his pensive son rests in a tent.
Roger Fenton (1819-1869) is represented by a fine 1860s portrait of his wife and daughter with the painter, Charles Lucy, who taught Fenton how to paint before he met Gustave Le Gray and learned photography. Intimate family portraits by Fenton are especially rare.
Oscar Gustav Rejlander (1813?-1875) began as a painter and became an influential photographer. The salt print, Young lady in costume (1860), is evidence of both his affinity with the Pre-Raphaelite painters and his use of allegory.
Also on display are landscapes by Gustave Le Gray and Henri Courmont as well as paper negatives by J.B. Greene, Louis Robert and the newly discovered Capitaine Louvel.