I was just researching Julia’s several versions of Ophelia, and wondering over an image I found of a sculpture of Ophelia dieing (Death of Ophelia) by Sarah Bernhardt, (whom in my ignorance, I did not know that she was (also) an accomplished painter and sculptor), and talking with a friend John Evans who is the official guide to Dimbola, when he mentioned that there was a sculpture of Julia Jackson in St Thomas Minster in Newport.
Carlo Marochetti was the sculptor most favoured by Victoria and Albert, and he was a regular attendee and participant at the Little Holland House salon of Julia’s sister, Sarah Prinsep in the 1850s. It was here that in 1854-55, looking for a model to sit for the carving of Princess Elizabeth, he would have met Sarah’s sister Maria (Mia), and her lovely daughter Julia Jackson. Then aged about 10, Julia was the right age (Elizabeth had died at age 14 of pneumonia and rickets), and Marochetti, vastly impressed by her beauty, employed her as a model. Carlo was so impressed by Julia Jackson that he proposed to her soon afterwords)
We can compare this to plate 31a from Leslie Stephen’s Photograph Album, taken of Julia age 10, which gives us some idea of just why Marochetti was so impressed.
Julia Jackson was not only Julia Margaret’s favourite niece, she was her favourite model too and appears (always as herself) in several portraits. She posed for Edward Burne-Jones, and G.F. Watts, , and was later married to Leslie Stephen, journalist, author and literary editor, who was recovering from the untimely death of his first wife Minny Thackeray. Leslie Stephen was almost already within the Cameron family circle as it were. Their daughters, Vanessa and Virginia Stephen, later became Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf, central figures of the Bloomsbury Group. (see Harold Bloom (ed): Virginia Woolf, 2005).
(from Colin Ford: The Cameron Collection 1975 p133)