Sophia Finlay and Harriet Farnie

Reference URL

See also

Sophia Finlay and Harriet Farnie 1843 - 1847
  • Scottish Art
This is one of four calotypes of young girls with David Octavius Hill’s dog, a terrier pup called Brownie. The girls depicted are Sophia Finlay – Hill’s great-niece – and Harriet Farnie, the younger of two sisters. Sleeping children were a recurring theme in nineteenth-century art, as it played on the Victorian fascination with childhood innocence and death. The image is clear and well-defined, which means that the girls must have sat very still for anything from several seconds up to a minute. Presumably the dog had been played with until it collapsed in exhaustion. Hill later called this picture ‘The Sleepers’ and added ‘Brownie, my stolen and lamented terrier pup’.

Glossary Open


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.



  • Acc. No. PGP HA 4846
  • Medium Albumen print
  • Size 19.80 x 13.60 cm
  • Credit Provenance unknown