The National Portrait Gallery has announced it will be staging an exhibition of photographs by four of the most celebrated figures in art photography, on display from the 1st March. 

053_Alice Liddell by Lewis Carroll, 1858
Alice Liddell by Lewis Carroll, 1858. 

Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography will see the National Portrait Gallery for the first time combining portraits by Lewis Carroll (1832–98), Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–79), Oscar Rejlander (1813–75) and Lady Clementina Hawarden (1822-65) and examine the relationship between all four artists.

In another first, the exhibition will also be the first one to feature the work of Swedish born ‘Father of Photoshop’ Oscar Rejlander since the artist’s death in 1875. The display will feature a surviving print of his famous picture Two Ways of Life of 1856-7, which was constructed from over 30 separate negatives.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to see the seldom-seem negatives  by Lewis Carroll and Rejlander, taking them behind the scenes of their creations. Victorian Giants will also feature the work of Clementina Hawarden, in the first major showing of her work since  the exhibition Lady Hawarden at the V&A in London and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles in 1990.

The exhibition is a celebration of four key 19th century figures, while examining their technique and radical attitudes towards photography.

Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director, National Portrait Gallery, London, says: ‘The National Portrait Gallery has one of the finest holdings of Victorian photographs in the world. As well as some of the Gallery’s rarely seen treasures, such as the original negative of Lewis Carroll’s portrait of Alice Liddell and images of Alice and her siblings being displayed for the first time, this exhibition will be a rare opportunity to see the works of all four of these highly innovative and influential artists.’

Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography will be on display at the National Portrait Gallery from the 1st March until the 20th May 2018. For more information visit:




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