About this artwork

Between 1843 and 1845 Hill and Adamson charted the progress made on the construction of the Scott Monument, seen here from the east end of Princes Street in Edinburgh. This calotype of the completed monument shows it without Sir John Steell’s sculpture of Sir Walter Scott, as this was still being carved from marble imported from Italy. The first block was so heavy that it sank the ship. The second arrived in Leith in November 1844 and took twenty horses to drag it up the hill to the sculptor’s studio. When the monument was complete, reactions varied from disappointment to triumph and acclaim. The famous art critic John Ruskin called it ‘a small vulgar Gothic steeple’.

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David Octavius Hill

Robert Adamson

David Octavius Hill

Robert Adamson