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Victorian Giants

The Birth of Art Photography

Alice Liddell and Lewis Carroll are the guest stars of a fascinating exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London next spring, together with other three of the most celebrated figures in art photography: Julia Margaret Cameron, Oscar Rejlander, and Clementina Hawarden. These four artists would come to embody the very best in photography of the Victorian era. Their experimental approach to picture-making and radical attitudes towards photography have informed artistic practice ever since.

Featuring striking portraits of sitters such as Charles Darwin, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Thomas Carlyle, George Frederick Watts, Ellen Terry and Alfred, Lord Tennyson, the exhibition will include loans from the Royal Collection, the V&A and Tate, as well the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and other museums in Sweden and Germany. Fragile images rarely displayed because the prints and negatives are so vulnerable to light damage.

Lewis Carroll’s portraits of Alice Liddell, the real model for his Alice in Wonderland – including the delicate original negatives – will also feature, as will the less familiar portraits by Julia Margaret Cameron of Alice as a grown woman.

About the Victorian Giants, Phillip Prodger, curator of the exhibition, said: “When people think of Victorian photography, they sometimes think of stiff, fusty portraits of women in crinoline dresses, and men in bowler hats. Victorian Giants is anything but.”

Victorian Giants: the Birth of Art Photography
National Portrait Gallery
from 1 March to 20 May 2018
London

www.npg.org.uk

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