Julia Margaret Cameron’s photos of Ceylon

Julia Margaret Cameron was brought to Ceylon by necessity. But eventually she settled there to produce some timeless photographs of life in Ceylon in the 1800s

"The Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron is currently undergoing a revival with a recent exhibition of her work at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. She has long evoked interest not only because of her distinctive style but also because of her eccentric personality, her dominant — very dominant — role in a circle that in many ways prefigured the Bloomsbury of her grandniece, Virginia Woolf. But there was another strand in her life that was quintessentially Victorian: the imperial. She was daughter, wife and mother of Empire. To top it off, four of her five sisters married “Anglo-Indians” — civil or military officials serving in India.

Her own embrace of this legacy, however, was equivocal at best; she went to Ceylon not by choice but by necessity in the twilight of her life. When she at last settled there, she had been immersed in photography for only just over a decade and was at last coming into her own as a very visible, if sometimes controversial, practitioner of the art. What is poignant are the ways that Ceylon affected not only the shape of her life, but also that of her art. It happened like this." -- From the essay ‘Julia Margaret Cameron in Ceylon: Idylls of Freshwater vs. Idylls of Rathoongodde’ in The Public Domain Review

Read the complete essay here: publicdomainreview.org/2014/07/09/julia-margaret-cameron-in-ceylon-idylls-of-freshwater-vs-idylls-of-rathoongodde/

Photo Courtesy: Julia Margaret Cameron/The Public Domain Review

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