At the National Portrait Gallery, the Four “Giants” of Victorian Photography

The muse of Lewis Carroll that inspired the character of Alice in Wonderland, the scientist Charles Darwin, Lord Tennyson, actress Ellen Terry. The event at the National Portrait Gallery where, for the first time, the giants of Victorian photography - a fantasy-fiction writer, the daughter of an English official of the British East India Company, a Swedish emigrant with a mysterious past, the daughter of an Admiral of the Royal Navy - depict, through their images, a bridge connecting the art of the past with the art of the future. Lewis Carroll, Julia Margaret Cameron, Oscar Rejlander and Lady Clementina Hawarden, are the protagonists of the exhibition Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography, the first exhibition to shed light on the relationship between the four revolutionary artists, using images - among the most suggestive of the history of photography and rarely displayed - on loan from both public and private collections. The exhibition will not exhibit any dusty or dull portraits, often associated with Victorian photography, no women in crinoline or men in bowlers, but, explains curator Phillip Prodger, “It will tell the visitor all about the Victorian Avant-Garde, not only in terms of photography, but art in general.” The works of Cameron, Carroll, Hawarden and Rejlander changed the thinking about photography forever. “They are images that inspire and delight, a show that fully exposes creativity itself, rich in energy and optimism.”
Samantha De Martin - © 2018 for Bulgari Hotel London