Our roles were no less than those of two of the Angels of the Nativity, and to sustain them we were scantily clad, and each had a pair of heavy swan's wings fastened to her narrow shoulders ... No wonder those old photographs of us, leaning over imaginary ramparts of heaven, look anxious and wistful. This is how we felt, for we never knew what Aunt Julia was going to do next. --Laura (Gurney) Troubridge Young Rachel Gurney's forlorn expression does not quite fit her role as an angel, but in a humorous way, her performance supports this photograph's staged look. She is perched on a box that is covered loosely in drapery and positioned stiffly on a table, with fake wings attached to her. Resting her chin on her crossed arms, she appears resigned to her fate of posing for the camera. Julia Margaret Cameron made a suite of photographs based on putti from Renaissance and post-Renaissance paintings. As children, Rachel and her sister Laura were often recruited to play the cherubs. Years later, they remembered the patience it took to pose for their great aunt.


  • Title: I Wait (Rachel Gurney)
  • Date Created: 1872
  • Location Created: Freshwater, England
  • Physical Dimensions: w25.4 x h32.7 cm
  • Type: Print
  • Rights: http://www.getty.edu/legal/copyright.html
  • External Link: http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artObjectDetails?artobj=65228
  • Medium: Albumen silver
  • photographer: Julia Margaret Cameron (British, born India, 1815 - 1879)
  • Terms of Use: http://www.getty.edu/legal/copyright.html
  • Subject: Angels, Rachel Gurney Troubridge

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