As with a number of photographs in the Jane Morris series, at least three copies of this pose survive, one print in the Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery, this copy (two prints done around 1930, differing in exposition), and another also in the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Album of Portraits of Mrs. William Morris (Jane Burden). Posed by Rossetti, 1865 .
This picture is one of the most remarkable in the series, especially the two prints that are preserved in the Victoria and Albert album. Mrs. Morris is posed outdoors against the backdrop of a billowing canopy, with her hands clasped at her midriff. She is turned facing the camera, though she looks away to the right. The other V&A print [image # 3] is cropped down from the original negative, as is the Birmingham copy. The modern prints shows the composition of the original negative and is far the more dramatic and dynamic image, though the cropped version is also interesting and effective, not least because of certain ghostly internal “framing” effects (these appear on several other of the pictures in the series). The Birmingham print, which is a replica of the cropped version, does not display this framing effect.
This pose is very close in style to another pose also composed outdoors in the marquee [images # 4, 5, and 6].
This pose is closely related to the previous one in which Mrs. Morris is outdoors under a marquee and against a white backgroup, with her hands clasped at her midriff. In this pose her body is turned to the left but her face is turned directly at the camera. As in the related pose, this exists in two printed states, one that shows a billowing canopy, the other that is cropped close. The cropped print is much less dramatic. The uncropped picture is in fact a modern print made when Gordon Bottomly was putting together the album of photographs that house all of the Victoria and Albert prints.
The Victoria and Albert Museum has two other prints of this picture. The Museum records identify the cropped print as an original, the other as a modern copy. Of course all the copies of the uncropped version ultimately derive from an original 1865 negative, and in fact it is these copies that show the negative’s original compositional structure.
Mrs. Morris standing facing right, outdoors against a black backdrop in front of a white cloth. The image is particularly startling because it contains two ghostly framing areas around Mrs. Morris, as we see in several other prints from this picture series (notably Jane Morris standing, in marquee: two sets of thee images each, discussed previously). These effects were generated subsequent to the shoot. They are due to the deterioration of the wet collodion negatives during handling.
Mrs. Morris stands outdoors, her back to the camera, her head turned to the right over her shoulder showing her profile. On the wicker chair to her left a shawl is draped. The only background is the garden vegetation, which is out of focus. A copy, cropped and printed darker, is the print made in 1865 [image above].
Mrs. Morris outdoors, standing in front of wicker chair and turned at an angle toward the camera. Her hands are at her midriff. The shot is a variation on Jane Morris standing beside wicker chair [the two images previously discussed]. In this picture the shawl lies on the chair seat and is not draped over the chair.
This is a print made in 1865. Mrs. Morris stands outdoors facing right with her head lowered. Her hands, at her midriff, hold a spray of foliage. The only background is the garden vegetation, which is out of focus. A second print [image below], less cropped and printed darker, is identified in museum records as a modern copy made from the 1865 original negative.
All images are from the book : Album of Portraits of Mrs. William Morris (Jane Burden) Posed by Rossetti, 1865. Composed by Gordon Bottomly in 1933source of images V&A Museum
source of text Rossetti Archive