DARWIN, CHARLES (1809-1882, naturalist)  PORTRAIT BY JULIA MARGARET CAMERON (1815-1879),<br/>
Lot 276
DARWIN, CHARLES (1809-1882, naturalist) PORTRAIT BY JULIA MARGARET CAMERON (1815-1879),
Sold for £3,360 (US$ 5,486) inc. premium

Lot Details
DARWIN, CHARLES (1809-1882, naturalist)
PORTRAIT BY JULIA MARGARET CAMERON (1815-1879),
photograph, albumen print, half-length in profile facing left, some unobtrusive surface scuffing (not to the head), minute area where emulsion has lifted without loss of emulsion, two small fox marks to the forehead, traces of former mounting around edges under new mount, 12 x 9½ in (30.5 x 24.2 cm).

Footnotes

  • REFERENCES: Helmut Gernsheim, Julia Margaret Cameron, 1948; Mike Weaver, Julia Margaret Cameron, 1984; Colin Ford, Julia Margaret Cameron, 2003; Brian Hill, Julia Margaret Cameron, 1973; Victoria Olsen, From Life, 2003.

    Darwin said of the portrait, one of Cameron's greatest images: 'I like this photograph much better than any other which has been taken of me.'

    It was taken when he and his family rented one of Mrs Cameron's 'little houses' in July and August 1868; Darwin was recuperating from an illness. The present portrait is notably larger than other versions of it and was doubtless produced on the larger camera she acquired in the middle of 1866. Not bearing the Colnaghi stamp, this one may have been printed by Mrs Cameron herself.

    While the National Portrait Gallery possesses an example of this photograph (NPG P8), it is not illustrated in The Complete Photographs, edited by Julian Cox and Colin Ford, 2003, though the Gallery does use it for a postcard.

    Julia Margaret Cameron is now recognised as one of the greatest photographers of all time. Although there is evidence that she had done some photographic work before acquiring her own camera, her career really started at the age of fifty when she was given a collodion photographic outfit by her daughter and son-in-law with the message: 'It may amuse you Mother to try Photography during your solitude at FreshWater'. She later stated her aspirations as being 'to ennoble photography and to secure for it the character and uses of High Art' and endeavoured with her 'whole soul' to record faithfully 'the greatness of the inner, as well as the features of the outer man.' Born at Calcutta, daughter to James Pattle, 'the King of Liars,' and sister of Sara Prinsep who owned Little Holland House and gave a home to G.F. Watts for thirty years, she married Charles Cameron, a Member of the Supreme Council of India, and died in Ceylon, having lived in England for twenty-seven years. She won gold, silver and bronze medals for photography in America, Austria, Germany and England. She was particularly celebrated for her portraits of writers and scientists, which were distinguished by dramatic lighting, soft focus and feeling for character. She corresponded with Wordsworth and published a large body of poetry, including one entitled 'On a Portrait' and was a charming and insistent neighbour of Tennyson on the Isle of Wight ('Pattledom has taken possession of the place' - Edward Lear). In 1923 Virginia Woolf wrote a short play called Freshwater and at its one performance in 1935 her sister Vanessa took the part of Mrs Cameron, their great-aunt.
Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, check with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveler's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Similar Items