Linlithgow from the railway station, with the Town Hall, St Michael's Church and the Palace in the centre background (About 1843)
About this artwork
This early calotype was taken from Linlithgow’s recently-built railway station and shows a view of the town to the north-west. Clearly visible is Linlithgow Palace, a ruin since a fire destroyed the building in 1746. Built around 1425 by James I of Scotland and his successors, it was the birthplace of James V and Mary Queen of Scots. During the fifteenth century, work was started on the reconstruction of St Michael’s Church which had also been devastated by a fire. The church took 115 years to rebuild. Numerous changes have since been made to both the interior and exterior, the most recent of which is the modern metal spire that was erected in 1964.
- title: Linlithgow from the railway station, with the Town Hall, St Michael's Church and the Palace in the centre background
- accession number: PGP EPS 84
- artists: David Octavius HillScottish (1802 - 1870) Robert AdamsonScottish (1821 - 1848)
- gallery: Scottish National Portrait Gallery(Print Room)
- object type: Photograph
- subject: Churches and cathedrals Palaces Mary Queen of Scots
- materials: Calotype negative
- date created: About 1843
- measurements: 20.80 x 15.70 cm
- credit line: Edinburgh Photographic Society Collection, gifted 1987
David Octavius Hill
David Octavius Hill
A painter and a lithographer by training, David Octavius Hill is best remembered for the beauty of the calotypes he and Robert Adamson produced together. Hill was a sociable and kind-hearted man who did much to support the arts in Scotland and between 1830 and 1836 he was the unpaid Secretary of the newly established Royal Scottish Academy. After Adamson's death, Hill's attempt to start a new partnership with the photographer Alexander MacGlashan around 1860 failed. Hill is to this day revered as one of the first in the trade who transformed photography into an art form.
Robert Adamson was one of the first professional photographers, setting up in business in Edinburgh in March 1843. He had aspired to be an engineer but his health was too poor. His brother, John, who was involved in the early experiments with photography in St Andrews, taught him the calotype process. Shortly after opening his studio on Calton Hill, Robert met the painter David Octavius Hill. They worked together for a few weeks on studies for a grand painting of the Free Church of Scotland before entering into partnership to explore the possibilities of photography. Despite Adamson's early death, the two produced some of the most impressive works taken in the medium and greatly influenced later practice in the art.