Sir Douglas Maclagan, 1812 - 1900 Surgeon General
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Sir Douglas Maclagan, 1812 - 1900 Surgeon General about 1840
  • Scottish Art
Shown here is Dr Andrew Douglas MacLagan (1812-1900), one of the earliest figures involved in Scottish photography who exhibited examples of photogenic drawing to the Edinburgh Society of Arts as early as March 1843. The size and detail of this daguerreotype and even the case, which keeps it protected and private, resemble those of a miniature painting. It comes as no surprise that miniature painters picked up work as photographers and as the painters of photographs. This monochrome image has been subtly hand-painted using dry paint mixed with gum.

Glossary Open

Daguerreotype

One of the first two effective photographic processes. A unique image on a silvered copper plate, sensitised by iodine, is exposed and then developed with mercury vapour. The surface of the daguerreotype is vulnerable and it is usually encased or framed.

Miniature

A painting or drawing, usually a portrait, on a very small scale. These were popular prior to the invention of photographic portraits in the 19th century.

Photogenic

Refers to something that produces or emits light, or to something, usually a person, that is an attractive subject for photography.

Daguerreotype, Miniature, Photogenic

Details

  • Acc. No. PGP 202.48
  • Medium Daguerreotype
  • Size 8.30 x 7.00 cm
  • Credit Presented by J. and R. A. Robertson, W.S. 1997