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David Octavius Hill

Hill, David Octavius, 1802–70, and Robert Adamson,yes 1821–48, Scottish pioneer photographers. Hill was a painter of romantic Scottish landscapes. In 1843 he was commissioned to make a group portrait of the 470 clergymen who founded the Free Church of Scotland. He required an assistant to make the calotypes from which he would work, and he hired Adamson as a partner. Distinguished persons from many fields came to be photographed by the partners. Together they made (1843–48) more than 1,000 portraits and numerous views of Edinburgh before Adamson died at 27. Hill returned to painting and the partners' great work was not rediscovered until 1872.

See study by H. Schwarz (tr. 1931).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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