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Sir George Harvey, 1806 - 1876. Genre and landscape painter; President of the Royal Scottish Academy

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Sir George Harvey, 1806 - 1876. Genre and landscape painter; President of the Royal Scottish Academy 1843 - 1847

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
This calotype by Hill and Adamson shows the painter George Harvey. Born in Stirlingshire and educated in Edinburgh, Harvey specialised in scenes inspired by Scottish history. Later in life he became a highly-skilled landscape painter, but many works from this period are now lost. Harvey was one of the original associates of the Scottish Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (later the Royal Scottish Academy) and contributed seven works to its first ever exhibition in 1827. Throughout his life he remained devoted to the interests of the Academy; he served first as its treasurer and from 1864 onwards as its president. Harvey knew David Octavius Hill well, as the latter was secretary of the Academy from 1830 until his death in 1870.

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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.

Royal Scottish Academy

The Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) was formed in Edinburgh in 1826 by Scottish artists who felt alienated by what they perceived as the elitism of the Royal Institution and its management of contemporary art exhibitions. In 1835, the RSA secured exhibition rights in the Royal Institution building, which had been erected on The Mound by the Board of Manufactures in 1826. The RSA and the Board frequently argued over responsibilities for advanced art education. From 1859, the RSA shared the premises of the new National Gallery of Scotland under the Board’s custody. In 1910, after transferring most of its art collections to the Gallery, the RSA gained exclusive tenancy of the former Royal Institution building, where it continues to hold large-scale annual exhibitions.

Calotype, Royal Scottish Academy


  • Acc. No. PGP HA 555
  • Medium Calotype print
  • Size 14.40 x 19.70 cm
  • Credit Provenance unknown