Mystery of ‘Lady in Red’ Who Appeared in Mervyn O’Gorman’s 1913 Colour Photos

The young beauty looks thoughtful and dreamy as she poses on the shingle beach in a scarlet swimming costume, as her long strawberry blonde hair cascades to her waist. This ethereal-looking teenager – who is thought to be called Christina – was one of the first people to be photographed in colour, yet rather than becoming famous, the young woman appears to have vanished altogether.

She was captured by photographer Mervyn O’Gorman in the series of dreamlike photos taken in Lulworth Cove, Dorset, in 1913, and for years was thought to be his daughter but now scholars believe she was a relative or friend – but all attempts to track her down have hit a dead end. Photos courtesy of The Royal Photographic Society Collection at the National Media Museum.

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On the Beach, 1913

A portrait of O’Gorman’s daughter, Christina, taken on the beach at Lulworth Cove, Dorset. The comparatively long exposure time has given the sea a glassy quality and the large aperture setting and narrow depth of field has put Durdle Door in the background into soft focus.
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