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Julia Margaret Cameron, British, (1815–1879)
The Fisherman's Return, 1874
Albumen Print on paper
13 1/4 in. x 10 in. (33.66 cm x 25.4 cm)

Object Type: Photography
Technique: Albumen Print
Credit Line: Gift of Sharon Walther Blasgen '64 and Michael Blasgen
Accession Number: 2005.11.7

In her efforts to elevate photography to an artistic level, Cameron frequently referenced Victorian genre painting in her scenes and their titles. This narrative study is the first half of a two-part series that concludes with "The Fisherman’s Farewell" the same year. Cameron uses her signature soft focus and atmospheric lighting to dramatize the relationship between the fisherman and his wife. Through the use of intense lighting, the photograph draws our attention to the woman, while the fisherman’s profile indicates his attention to her and the affection in the relationship.

Gillian Grace Holzer, SC '19

Signed, titled and dated in ink on the mount recto, Colnaghi blindstamp in the mount.

Object Description
Julia Margaret Cameron began to practice photography close to the age of 50, and soon became friends with prominent figures from both the sciences and the arts, including poet Lord Alfred Tennyson, scientist Sir John Herschel and painter G.F. Watts. Known as a pictorialist photographer, she was particularly adept in using long exposures, soft focus and atmospheric lighting conditions to create powerful portraits and allegories. The Fisherman’s Return is one half of a series including the Fisherman’s Farewell, of the same year.

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