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Early British photographs from the Royal Collection

Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-79)

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) 1867

Albumen print | 31.6 x 24.7 cm (image) | RCIN 2941860

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Photograph of Thomas Carlyle, head and shoulders, almost profile right.

This portrait of Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), celebrated historian and essayist, was widely admired by Cameron’s artist friends, including Millais, Rossetti and Watts. In 1869 Queen Victoria met Carlyle at a reception at Westminster Abbey. She described him as ‘a strange looking, eccentric old Scotchman, who holds forth in a rather drawling melancholy voice upon Scotland & the utter degeneration of everything!’

Text adapted from Roger Fenton – Julia Margaret Cameron: Early British photographs from the Royal Collection, London, 2010