David Octavius Hill (British, Perth, Scotland 1802–1870 Edinburgh, Scotland)
Robert Adamson (British, St. Andrews, Scotland 1821–1848 St. Andrews, Scotland)
Person in Photograph:
Person in photograph Edward William Lane (British, Hereford 1801–1876 Worthing)
Salted paper print from paper negative
Robert O. Dougan Collection, Gift of Warner Communications Inc., 1981
Not on view
The photographic collaboration between the painter D. O. Hill and the chemist Robert Adamson was a fruitful blending of the men’s respective talents. Hill’s membership in the Royal Scottish Academy gave the business partners access to a clientele of artists who sought photographic studies of posed models for their paintings. This photograph was likely a commission from the academy’s president Sir William Allan, who had collected exotic costumes and armor while traveling through Russia. During the 1840s Allan exhibited a series of Orientalist paintings depicting Circassians, an ethnic group from the Northern Caucasus. Here subtle shadows obscure the models’ faces, lending an air of mystery and drama to the imposing armor-clad figures.
Robert O. Dougan
The University of Glasgow Library, Special Collections, identifies the sitters in their print (HA0369) as Edward William Lane (1801–1876) and a Mr. Peddie (or Reddie, or Roddie, or Redding).
Lane, an engraver in London, traveled to Alexandria in 1825 for health. He learned Arabic, took to wearing native dress and resided under the name of Mansoor Effendi. See HA157-HA158, HA369, HA528 and HA607-HA608. The newspaper accounts of the fancy dress ball in the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh in 1843 referred to "Mr Lane, an Affghan" and to "Mr C Reddie [sic] - as an Affghan - chain armour". The setting is the same as HA528 & HA607-HA608.