About this artwork

This is one of a series of six photographs called 'A Day's Deerstalking', and shows Melville himself to the right with his friend Edward Ross. Ross was a great shot and skilled at drawing animals. His father, Horatio Ross, was a well-known amateur photographer and it is possible that he taught Melville to use a camera. The two friends have returned from deerstalking on a Highland estate and project an air of satisfaction after the successful hunt.

Ronald Leslie Melville

Ronald Leslie Melville

Ronald Leslie Melville took pictures mainly in the 1860s for his private pleasure. He was one of the many wealthy amateurs who were attracted to photography after Frederick Scott Archer invented the collodion process in 1851. It was an expensive and time-consuming hobby which he pursued enthusiastically but only for a few years. Melville's output diminished as he began to build a career as a city banker. His albums are full of images of family and friends. They include landscapes, portraits and posed history pictures, often influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites or the poetry of Tennyson.