Julia Stephen (née Jackson), 1889


 Julia Stephen (née Jackson) at the Bear, Grindelwald, Switzerland by Gabriel Loppé, 1889

This was Vanessa Bell’s favorite photograph of her mother. It was taken by Leslie Stephen’s friend Gabriel Loppé, the French painter of the high Alps. (For more images of that trip see my other post here). The subject is very reminiscent of the final scene in Virginia Woolf’s essay, On Being Ill (1930). The essay ends with a description of the third Marchioness of Waterford gazing out the window on the day of her husband’s funeral. “She knew it before they told her, and never could Sir John Leslie forget, when he ran downstairs on the day of the burial, the beauty of the great lady standing to see the hearse depart, nor when he came back, how the curtain, heavy, mid-Victorian, plush perhaps, was all crushed together where she had grasped it in her agony.

source: Smith College Libraries

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