Queen of the May

Queen of the May

1875

Julia Margaret Cameron

(British, 1815-1879)

Albumen print from wet collodion negative

Image: 34.9 x 26.6 cm (13 3/4 x 10 1/2 in.); Matted: 66 x 55.9 cm (26 x 22 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1984.166

Location

Description

A major figure in the development of British photography, Cameron elevated the portrait to new artistic heights. She never opened a commercial studio or accepted commissions, but she was one of the first photographers to sell her photographs through a fine art gallery. Friends, neighbors, family, and servants were cajoled into modeling for portraits as themselves and as allegorical figures from history, religion, mythology, and literature. Little is known about Emily Peacock, who posed here as the protagonist in The May Queen by Britain’s poet laureate Alfred Tennyson. Typically crowned with flowers, the May Queen is selected as part of the celebrations on May 1, a traditional spring holiday in many cultures in the Northern Hemisphere.

See also
Collection: 
Photography
Department: 
Photography
Type of artwork: 
Photograph

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.