Edinburgh Ale: James Ballantine, Dr George Bell and David Octavius Hill
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Edinburgh Ale: James Ballantine, Dr George Bell and David Octavius Hill 1843 - 1847
  • Scottish Art
The skills involved in producing calotypes were not only of a technical nature. Hill’s sociability, humour and his capacity to gauge the sitters’ characters all played a crucial part in his photography. He is shown here on the right, apparently sharing a drink and a joke with James Ballantine and Dr George Bell. Bell, in the middle, was one of the commissioners of the Poor Law of 1845, which reformed poor relief in Scotland. Ballantine was a writer and stained-glass artist, and the son of an Edinburgh brewer. On the table are three glasses of ale. According to a contemporary account, Edinburgh ale was "a potent fluid, which almost glued the lips of the drinker together".

Glossary Open

Calotype

The first effective version of photography, using drawing or writing paper for both the negative and the positive. The paper was sensitised with potassium iodide and silver nitrate, exposed and developed in gallic acid and silver nitrate.

Calotype

Details

  • Acc. No. PGP HA 435
  • Medium Calotype print
  • Size 13.00 x 19.40 cm
  • Credit Provenance unknown