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Scots Guards at Edinburgh Castle

Scots Guards at Edinburgh Castle

1846

David Octavius Hill

(British, 1802-1870)

and Robert Adamson

(British, 1821-1848)

Salted paper print from calotype negative

Image: 14 x 19.5 cm (5 1/2 x 7 11/16 in.); Matted: 35.6 x 45.7 cm (14 x 18 in.)

Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 1987.17

Description

Painted group portraits required each individual to sit for the artist, whereas the camera captured a detailed likeness of each face at once. Photography became an incredibly useful tool for artists tasked with producing group portraits. It was Hill’s desire to paint a contemporary historical event requiring the accurate depiction of more than 450 ministers that led him to contact Adamson, who had just become Edinburgh’s first professional photographer making paper prints. This portrait shows members of the 42nd Gordon Highlanders unit of the Scots Guards.

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