About this artwork

This panoramic view of Edinburgh was taken from the ramparts of the castle. It shows the newly-built Scott Monument on the left, in the centre is the railway station, and behind, Calton Hill. The empty space in the middle is the building site where work is about to begin on William Henry Playfair's neoclassical building, the National Gallery of Scotland. Together with the Royal Institution (now the Royal Scottish Academy building), just visible on the left, it was expected to make a handsome transition on the Mound between the two halves of the city.

Ross and Thomson

Ross and Thomson

Scottish photographers, James Ross and John Thomson, entered into a partnership in 1848, with a studio in the National Monument in Calton Hill. Ross and Thomson began practicing with the daguerreotype and calotype processes and were amongst the first to adopt the albumen process in 1849. The same year, they sent an album to Windsor Castle and were appointed 'Photographers to the Queen'. In 1851, they won a medal in the Great Exhibition in London. Throughout the 1850s and 60s, they specialised in studio portraits, but the partnership ended in 1864.