Portrait of Mrs. C. Annan, James Craig  (Scottish, 1864-1946)

It was the artist and etcher Cameron with whom Annan travelled to Venice in 1894. There they worked in tandem and Annan made the photographs that were to be published in photogravure in his book Venice & Lombardy. In 1897 Annan had asked the interior designer, George Walton, to design the interior of his family home which is to be seen as the backdrop in some of his portraits, possibly the case here.

Lady Jean Cameron rarely appears in literature except as a passing reference as Cameron’s wife. The then Jean McLaurin married David Young Cameron in 1896 and moved with him to Kippen in 1898 or 1899. She died of cancer in 1931. Lady Cameron was a patroness of the Kippen Horticultural Society. Together with her husband she played a significant role in the renovation and reconstruction of the parish church in the 1920s, it becoming ‘arguably one of the most beautiful of the churches of Scotland’ (Begg, p. 197).

This image was published by Stieglitz in Camera Work in 1907.  It has been exhibited at Cult of Beauty: V&A, 2010 / Tokyo, 2013; and Painting with Light: Tate Britain, 2016.

The true secret of decorating a living room successfully is to select only the choicest objects for their adornment, and to make such a limited selection, that each may seem apart, and thereby command a respect which it would not obtain were it crowded and jostled by other objects of conflicting interest.  P. 93 From: Annan, J C, and William Buchanan. J. Craig Annan: Selected Texts and Bibliography. New York: G.K. Hall, 1994. Print.