Friday, January 06, 2012
Let them come. I've had
my vengeance. And you?
What will you have of me?
You cannot rob me of my life, my innocence. That
has already been stolen from me. Look closer.
A fire still burns, inextinguishable.
I speak to you from a molten calm.
Julia Margaret Cameron, Beatrice, 1866, Albumen print.
For Cameron's contemporaries, the simple title of this life-size close-up head would have suggested Percy Pysshe Shelley's poetic drama The Cenci (1819). The play was based on the true story of Beatrice Cenci, who had her abusive father murdered in 16th-century Italy and was then executed along with her conspirators.
*print and text featured in new permanent Photograph Gallery at the Victoria & Albert Museum