About the Julia Secession

This site is a test platform for Bob Cotton’s new ebook: Julia and the Portrait, to be published soon as an Apple i-book. Julia and the Portrait looks at Julia Margaret Cameron’s portraits in context with the theories of beauty and portraiture of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the development of art movements, scientific and quasi-scientific theories of physiognomy and phrenology, anatomy and of course developments in the art of the photograph.

Julia Margaret Cameron's portraits fit neatly in the middle of a century of portraiture spanning the development of optical media like the Shadowgraph and Camera Lucida to the beginning of Cinematography.

A timeline of Julia and the Portrait, from top left, takes us through the years from the 1780s through to the 1910s, The timeline locates Julia’s work in the middle of the century, emerging out of the neoclassical and romantic art traditions, and illustrating the kind of portraiture that preceded Julia, and the kind of theories about portraiture that she would have grown up with. During her very active but very short photographic career (c1864-c1879)), Julia’s work coexisted alongside some of the great 19th century contributions to portraiture – both in painting and in photography, including Winterhalter, Rossetti, Nadar, Countess Castiglione, Wilkie Wynfield, Rejlander. After Julia’s death, we see the emerging impact of impressionism, pictorialism, styles like art nouveau, and technologies like composite-portraits, multiple portraits, cinematography, and eventually the beautiful autochrome.

The Julia Secession (or alt.Dimbola), is a forum set up by trustees and ex-trustees of the Julia Margaret Cameron Trust, as an alternative to the Trust website. Intended for scholars and photographers who are really interested in Julia Margaret Cameron and early photography. Hosted currently by ex-trustee Professor Bob Cotton, and ex-Artist-in-Residence Mary Clemmensen, along with a string of ex-Trustees who have realised that any progress at Dimbola is impossible with the current governance, we have decided to set up this forum as an alternative and inclusive venue for those really interested in Julia Margaret Cameron and 19th century  photography.

So if you are a photographer, researcher, scholar, or student of early photography, and/or specifically the work of Julia Margaret Cameron, or just interested in this fascinating period, when art and photography, and art-photography was developing apace, then please post comments, articles, photographs and other contributions on this site. Any work published or reblogged here remains the copyright of the originator.



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