Thomas Annan

David Livingstone, 1813 - 1873. Missionary and explorer (1864)

About this artwork

David Livingstone was one of the great Christian missionaries of the nineteenth century, and fought the slave trade in Africa throughout his life with great dedication. His journey from coast to coast and his discovery of Victoria Falls made him Britain's national hero. This is the most successful portrait of Livingstone, taken in his sisters' house in Hamilton in 1864. The cap on the table is his 'Consul's cap', symbolising his authority as a consul-on-the-move in the Zambezi expedition (1858-1864).

Thomas Annan

Thomas Annan

Having begun his career as a lithographic writer and engraver on a local newspaper in Fife, Thomas Annan set up a studio as a professional photographer in 1855. He founded his own photographic printing works in Hamilton in 1859 and by 1862 had begun to establish a reputation for photographing works of art. In 1866 he purchased the carbon process patent rights for Scotland and in 1883 he secured the British rights for photogravure. Between 1868 and 1871 he executed a commission from the City of Glasgow to photograph the slums of the old town before their demolition.