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The Misses Grierson

A work made of salted paper print.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of salted paper print.


c. 1845


David Octavius Hill (Scottish, 1802–1870) and
Robert Adamson (Scottish, 1821–1848)

About this artwork

David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson were among the earliest practitioners of photography to be considered true artists, both by contemporary critics and by later photographers and historians. A painter and illustrator, Hill partnered with Adamson, who had begun working with the calotype process (paper negatives and salted paper prints) only a few years after its announcement to the public. Together they produced more than 1,500 portraits over the course of just five years. The calotype process resulted in a slightly blurred image with a massing of light and dark forms; contemporary critics found in the technique a pleasing update of earlier painterly aesthetics, with one watercolorist remarking in 1843 that “the pictures produced are as Rembrandt’s but improved.” Because of the lengthy exposure time, it was essential to choose a tasteful pose that could be held while still seeming natural. In this portrait of the daughters of the Reverend James Grierson, of Errol, Scotland, Hill’s artistic training came in handy.


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


David Octavius Hill , Robert Adamson


The Misses Grierson


Scotland (Artist's nationality)


Made 1840-1850


Salted paper print


[Royal Scottish Academy wetstamp on mount]


19.9 × 14 cm (7 7/8 × 5 9/16 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by Robin and Sandy Stuart

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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