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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.

List Thumbnail

5049

David Octavius Hill

by Robert Scott Lauder
oil on canvas, 1829
NPG 5049

P6(141)

Edinburgh Ale

by David Octavius Hill, and Robert Adamson
calotype, 1843-1848
NPG P6(141)

P6(143)

A Discussion

by David Octavius Hill, and Robert Adamson
calotype, 1843-1848
NPG P6(143)

P6(227)

The Nasmyth Tomb (Thomas Duncan; David Octavius Hill)

by David Octavius Hill, and Robert Adamson
calotype, 1843-1848
NPG P6(227)

P6(98)

The Torso

by David Octavius Hill, and Robert Adamson
calotype, 1843-1848
NPG P6(98)

P6(1)

David Octavius Hill

by David Octavius Hill, and Robert Adamson
calotype, circa 1843
NPG P6(1)

P6(2)

Greyfriars Churchyard, Edinburgh

by David Octavius Hill, and Robert Adamson
calotype, 1843-1848
NPG P6(2)

P6(100)

David Octavius Hill; William Borthwick Johnstone

by David Octavius Hill, and Robert Adamson
calotype, 1843-1848
NPG P6(100)

P6(103)

David Octavius Hill

by David Octavius Hill, and Robert Adamson
calotype, 1843-1848
NPG P6(103)

P6(155)

'The Morning After' 'He greatly daring dined'

by David Octavius Hill, and Robert Adamson
calotype, 1843-1848
NPG P6(155)

P6(221)

The Covenanter's Tomb

by David Octavius Hill, and Robert Adamson
calotype, 1843-1848
NPG P6(221)

P6(228)

McKenzie's Tomb, Greyfriars

by David Octavius Hill, and Robert Adamson
calotype, 1843-1848
NPG P6(228)

P6(220)

Sir Robert Dennistoun's Tomb

by David Octavius Hill, and Robert Adamson
calotype, 1843-1848
NPG P6(220)

P6(230)

The Nasmyth Tomb

by David Octavius Hill, and Robert Adamson
calotype, 1843-1848
NPG P6(230)

x18472

David Octavius Hill

by David Octavius Hill, and Robert Adamson
photogravure, 1840s
NPG x18472

x18781

John Henning; Alexander Handyside Ritchie; David Octavius Hill

by David Octavius Hill, and Robert Adamson
calotype, circa 1845
NPG x18781

Ax17273

David Octavius Hill

by Thomas Annan
albumen carte-de-visite, 1860s
NPG Ax17273

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