Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850 - 1894. Essayist, poet and novelist. On Samoa (1890 - 1894 63519)

About this artwork

Robert Louis Stevenson, son of the lighthouse engineer, is best known as the author of 'Treasure Island' (1882) and 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' (1886). His life began in Edinburgh and ended on Samoa in the South Pacific, which is where this photograph was taken. Dogged by tuberculosis for most of his adult life, the writer had to look for climates more favourable than that of his damp native city. In 1880 he married the American, Mrs Fanny Osbourne, who gave him much needed encouragement and affection. In this image, Stevenson looks frail - it was probably taken towards the end of his life.

John Patrick

John Patrick

John Patrick was a commercial photographer who worked in Kirkcaldy in Fife before moving to Edinburgh. He was also an amateur painter. His studio at 52 Comiston Road was 'the haunt' of many literary and artistic figures. Patrick is best known for his portraits of Thomas Carlyle, taken during Carlyle's last visit to Kirkcaldy with his family in 1874. However, the photographer's move to the more competitive Edinburgh market appears not to have been successful. On his death he was 'bereft of all through no fault of his own, unless not having money-sense is a fault'.