Monday, January 26, 2015

Daughter Models

Elphinstone Agnes Maude (barefoot, above) modeled at a young age for her mother, English photographer Clementina Hawarden. This picture was taken around 1859.

Elphinstone was photographed again, the small child on the right in the picture immediately below. She holds a toy owl in the crook of her arm while one of her older sisters shakes hands with a puppy sitting in another sister's lap. Lady Hawarden had ten children. These three were posing on a terrace outside their mother's photographic studio at the top of the house at 5 Princes Gardens.

This terrace was used often. In 1864 it provided the setting for the famous photograph below featuring the photographer's namesake, Clementina (left) and eldest daughter Isabella (right). This is now the signature photograph, the one routinely reproduced whenever the work of Lady Clementina Hawarden is written about. I have seen it used on posters and note-cards and  book covers and exhibition catalogs.

Also on the terrace, a balancing poodle.

Isabella appeared in fewer photos than her younger sister Clementina (who dominated yesterday's post). Compared to flamboyant Clementina, Isabella projected reserve and pensiveness.

Isabella in Ireland, 1859

Above, an untypical instance of Isabella facing the camera and Clementina turned away. Lady Hawarden was fond of these over-the-shoulder shots, and in almost every case it would be Isabella's shoulder as frame for Clementina's face.

This final image is titled Study from Life. Clementina sits at a bureau reading a letter, her absorbed reflection visible in the tilting, lace-draped mirror. Behind her, Isabella is a sharp-focus, swirling form with no face, braced against the wall.

All images V&A