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The Grassmarket, Edinburgh

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The Grassmarket, Edinburgh About 1860

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
This atmospheric shot shows Edinburgh’s Grassmarket in about 1860. The photographer William Donaldson Clark stands looking west along the cobbled square. Many of the buildings shown are still standing today. Clark was an amateur photographer who took some remarkable views of Edinburgh. For this image he used the collodion process (and made an albumen print) which made outdoor work more practical, although it required longer exposure times. Closer inspection reveals the length of the exposure due to the movement of horses and carts throughout the scene.

Glossary Open

Albumen print

A print with the chemicals carried in a film of egg white to give a clear, detailed image.


An image constructed from found materials, such as photographs, paper or fabric, glued to a surface, sometimes with additional painted or drawn elements. It is an art form particularly associated with Dada and Surrealism.

Albumen print, Collage


  • Acc. No. PGP R 122
  • Medium Albumen print
  • Size 21.50 x 27.10 cm
  • Credit Gift of Mrs. Riddell in memory of Peter Fletcher Riddell, 1985