SUBALBUM:  Lady Clementina, Viscountess Hawarden

Clementina was a pioneering photographer who took many photos of her daughters, especially Isabella Grace. The Masters of Photography blog site has a biographical sketch including this, "In 1859 the family also acquired a new London home at 5 Princes Gardens (much of the square survives as built, but No. 5 has gone). From 1862 onwards Lady Hawarden used the entire first floor of the property as a studio, within which she kept a few props, many of which have come to be synonymous with her work: gossamer curtains, a Mark Haworth-Booth offered Virginia Dodier the opportunity to make a freestanding mirror, a small chest of drawers and the iconic 'empire star' wallpaper, as seen in several of these photographs. The superior aspect of the studio can also go some way to account for Hawarden's sophisticated, subtle and pioneering use of natural light in her images..." The stark lighting effects later appeared in film noir.

The dresses worn in most of the photos look somewhat disheveled, especially compared to a French counterpart, the Countess of Castiglione. In one photo, a ribbon hangs from an under-skirt, possibly before it was pressed and stitched to complete a band of decoration. Lady Clementina maintained strict control over the technical aspects of developing her photographs.

Her maiden family name was Elphinstone-Fleming (or Elphinstone-Fleeming) and she married into the Maude family. So the name Maude is not a middle name in this case.  Her article in thepeerage is here. There is also a biographical article about her in Wikipedia.


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