The First General Assembly of The Free Church of Scotland, Signing the Act of Separation and Deed of Demission at Tanfield, Edinburgh 23 May, 1843
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The First General Assembly of The Free Church of Scotland, Signing the Act of Separation and Deed of Demission at Tanfield, Edinburgh 23 May, 1843
  • Scottish Art
This is a study for Hill’s oil painting of the same subject. It shows a scene from the Disruption of 1843. In this sketch Dr. Chalmers is preaching to a group of ministers, but the finished painting shows him signing the Act of Separation. Hill used calotypes along with pen and ink studies in the planning of the painting. He originally intended to work on the painting for three years, but by 1846, the painting had doubled in size. In the end, it took Hill twenty-three years to finish and it dominated the rest of his life. The painting now hangs in the offices of the Free Church of Scotland on the Mound.

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.

Disruption

After years of dissension within the Church of Scotland, in 1843 a group of 150 ministers walked out of the General Assembly to form the Free Church of Scotland. The main issues were the right to veto clerical appointments and the desire of the dissenters to retain their spiritual independence.

Calotype, Disruption

Details

  • Acc. No. D 3384
  • Medium Pen, brown ink and wash, heightened with white on paper
  • Size 22.50 x 37.70 cm
  • Credit William Findlay Watson Bequest 1881