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Professor Benjamin Jowett
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Cameron, Julia Margaret
British, Freshwater, Isle of Wight, 1864
Albumen silver print
10 7/16 x 8 1/2 in.
84.XZ.186.71

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When I have such men before my camera, my whole soul has endeavored to do my duty towards them in recording faithfully the greatness of the inner, as well as the features of the outer, man.
--Julia Margaret Cameron

Holding a book as if he is standing at a lectern, Oxford theologian Benjamin Jowett comes across as reserved, even somewhat severe. His heavy jowls touch his collar, and his white bowtie echoes the tome's shape. Julia Margaret Cameron's image of Jowett, like other photographs she made of prominent men, suggests reverence bordering on hero-worship.

In addition to Jowett's bookish appearance, Cameron captured his eccentric personality: He was, in fact, a man with unorthodox views. For a decade, Jowett taught the Classics at Oxford University until his dismissal on grounds that his religious beliefs were too radical. Jowett rented a cottage on the Isle of Wight to work on translations of Plato and be near his and Cameron's mutual friend, Alfred, Lord Tennyson.