About this artwork

This calotype shows the painter Horatio McCulloch, who is best known for his magnificent views of the Scottish Highlands. He was born in Glasgow and named after the great naval hero, Lord (Horatio) Nelson, who had died only weeks earlier at the battle of Trafalgar. McCulloch studied art under John Knox and briefly worked as a snuff-box decorator before moving to Edinburgh. He quickly established himself as a respectable landscape painter, exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy from 1829 and was elected an associate in 1834. By the 1840s, his standing as an artist was equal to Hill’s, but his later career established him as the better painter. His large-scale paintings of Scottish scenery helped shape the Victorian perception of the Highlands as a wild, romantic place.

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Robert Adamson

David Octavius Hill

Robert Adamson

David Octavius Hill

A painter and a lithographer by training, David Octavius Hill is best remembered for the beauty of the calotypes he and Robert Adamson produced together. Hill was a sociable and kind-hearted man who did much to support the arts in Scotland and between 1830 and 1836 he was the unpaid Secretary of the newly established Royal Scottish Academy. After Adamson's death, Hill's attempt to start a new partnership with the photographer Alexander MacGlashan around 1860 failed. Hill is to this day revered as one of the first in the trade who transformed photography into an art form.