Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

This is an important photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, (1809-1892) the English poet who was Poet Laureate during much of Queen Victoria’s reign. It is also known as the last photograph of the Laureate– as captioned by the artist, taken on 3 June, 1869.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Image Dimensions28.4 x 24.5 cm laid down within gilt ruled mount

Support Dimensions54.6 x 41.2 cm shown cropped to gilt ruled outline

Print Notes

Recto: unrestored albumen silver print with some surface abrasions pasted on mount and centered within gilt-ruled window; in black ink in the hand of the artist along lower margin beneath print, left to right: From life registered Photograph copy right   Julia Margaret Cameron  Freshwater; facsimile autograph: A Tennyson; dedication by the artist but with mount losses ending with the possible surname Wodehouse; With the love of their aunt; Julia Margaret Cameron 4 (?) May 1875; Colnaghi blindstamp at bottom margin.  Editors note: In the 1998 volume Julia Margaret Cameron’s Women, a Miss Philippa Wodehouse portrait by the artist is listed for sale at the price of 10 shillings as part of the reproduced advertisement: Mrs. Cameron’s Photographs: PRICED CATALOGUE. (p. 210)  It’s unknown if there’s a Wodehouse family connection for the original owner of this print.

Exhibitions | Collections

A print on a similar mount held at the MET; other examples listed in Cox & Ford, “Julia Margaret Cameron: The Complete Photographs” (J. Paul Getty Museum), p. 359, cat. no. 810.


Purchased for this archive in July, 2016, with dealer stating:  I bought it around 1980 at Sothebys in London. I tried to sell it about 10 years at Christies but I set too high a reserve and it didn’t sell.” Editors note: It is believed Sotheby’s Belgravia held three auctions of photography in 1980. Of these, the June 27th catalogue: “Photographic Images and Related Material” lists this portrait as lot #314-not a match with the present example. Unchecked for now are the March 21st and October 29th catalogues.