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David Octavius Hill (1802-1870), Landscape and portrait painter; pioneer photographer

Sitter associated with 22 portraits
Artist associated with 382 portraits
David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson were among the first in the world to grasp the artistic possibilities of photography. They were brought together at the Disruption of the Church of Scotland in 1843, a significant event that laid the foundations for the Free Church of Scotland. Adamson photographed the participants as studies for a proposed painting by Hill, but the two men quickly realised the potential of the new medium as an end in itself and not just as a means to an end. Between 1843 and Adamson's death in 1848, they made over 3,000 calotype images, of Edinburgh's great and good, of fisherfolk and soldiers, of visiting celebrities and of landscapes and buildings.

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David Octavius Hill, John Henning and others at Bonaly Towers.

by David Octavius Hill, and Robert Adamson
calotype, 1840s
NPG x18790


David Octavius Hill

by Robert Adamson
reproduction, published 1928
NPG Ax29500