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Edinburgh Old and New

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Edinburgh Old and New

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
Hill was trained as a painter but became famous for his pioneering work in photography (with his partner Adamson). He often exhibited photographs alongside his landscape paintings. This view of Edinburgh was based on photographs Hill made in 1846 and many of the figure groups were also inspired by the camera. The vantage point is from the Edinburgh Castle, looking east, down the Royal Mile. The New Town is on the left. The Royal Scottish Academy is the classical building at the foot of The Mound, and the empty site beside it was where the foundations of the Scottish National Gallery were laid in 1850.

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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.

Royal Scottish Academy


  • Acc. No. NG 1964
  • Medium Oil on panel
  • Size 117.00 x 193.00 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1942