About this artwork

The Royal High School on Calton Hill was built in 1829 to a design by Thomas Hamilton. Used as a school until 1966, it has since been considered as a home for other institutions including the Scottish Parliament. The building stands close to Robert Adamson’s former studio on Calton Hill, which he shared with David Octavius Hill. This calotype was printed on 17 May 1843, the day before the Disruption within the Church of Scotland that would bring about Hill and Adamson’s famous partnership. Hill intended to paint a large-scale picture of all those present at this historic event, and the success of taking portrait photographs as memory aids resulted in the men’s close collaboration until Adamson’s untimely death in 1848.

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Robert Adamson

Robert Adamson