The Misses Grierson

A work made of salted paper print.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of salted paper print.

Date:

c. 1845

Artist:

David Octavius Hill (Scottish, 1802–1870) and
Robert Adamson (Scottish, 1821–1848)

About this artwork

David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson were among the earliest practitioners of photography to be considered true artists, both by contemporary critics and by later photographers and historians. A painter and illustrator, Hill partnered with Adamson, who had begun working with the calotype process (paper negatives and salted paper prints) only a few years after its announcement to the public. Together they produced more than 1,500 portraits over the course of just five years. The calotype process resulted in a slightly blurred image with a massing of light and dark forms; contemporary critics found in the technique a pleasing update of earlier painterly aesthetics, with one watercolorist remarking in 1843 that “the pictures produced are as Rembrandt’s but improved.” Because of the lengthy exposure time, it was essential to choose a tasteful pose that could be held while still seeming natural. In this portrait of the daughters of the Reverend James Grierson, of Errol, Scotland, Hill’s artistic training came in handy.

Currently Off View

Photography

Artist

David Octavius Hill

Title

The Misses Grierson

Origin

Scotland

Date

1840–1850

Medium

Salted paper print

Dimensions

19.9 × 14 cm

Credit Line

Restricted gift of Robin and Sandy Stuart

Reference Number

2014.658

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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