J.F.W. Herschel Cameron, Julia Margaret  (British, 1815-1879)

Photographische Rundschau (Photographic Review) began as the official magazine of the Club der Amateur Photographen in Wien in 1877, but within a year was published in Germany and distributed in Austria as well as Germany. It was one of the earliest magazines specifically produced for amateurs in the art and science of photography. Because these photographers were in virtually every case pictorialists, the journal was also among the chief vehicles for the international promotion and diffusion of works of the pictorialist school. Beginning in 1904 and lasting until 1911, the journal joined forces with publisher Wilhelm Knapp’s Photographisches Centralblatt, becoming the Photographische Rundschau und Photographisches Centralblatt.

Volumes contained full-page hand-pulled photogravures, additional sheet-fed gravures, as well as numerous half-tones by the world’s leading photographers of the time. Photographers include Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz, Julia Margaret Cameron, Clarence H. White, Heinrich Kühn, et al.

Sir John Herschel (1792–1871) was Victorian England’s preeminent scientist, astronomer, and mathematician, considered the equal of Sir Isaac Newton. Cameron met him in 1836 in Capetown, South Africa, where she was recuperating from illness and he was charting the stars of the southern hemisphere and recording the native flora. Just a few years later Herschel wrote to her in Calcutta of Henry Talbot’s invention of photography and sent her the first photographs she had ever seen—scientific discoveries that were “water to the parched lips of the starved,” she recalled. Of her 1867 portraits of Herschel, she wrote: “From my earliest girlhood I had loved and honoured him, and it was after a friendship of 31 years’ duration that the high task of giving his portrait to the nation was allotted to me,” sounding a bit as though she were working on a divine commission rather than on a personal, spiritual, artistic quest—with, it must be said, some incidental hope of financial profit. Of the four exposures Cameron made in April 1867, Herschel preferred this one, which portrayed him, he thought, as an “old Paterfamilias.” [1]


[1] The Metropolitan Museum of Art www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/283097 accessed 02/19/23