Revd James Julius Wood, Greyfriars' Church

Object Details


Revd James Julius Wood, Greyfriars' Church


Hill & Adamson (Scottish, active 1843 - 1848)


October 22, 1843


Salted paper print from a Calotype negative


19.8 x 14.1 cm (7 13/16 x 5 9/16 in.)

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David Hill and Robert Adamson frequently exercised artistic license in their photographs. Faint traces of a headrest, an apparatus used to restrict a sitter's movement, indicate that the negative was changed to mask this tool. They also altered the original negative for this image to include a specific reference to the Rev. James Julius Wood's position: the title Scotch Church Malta 1843drawn in ink on the book he holds. Wood was chaplain to the 42nd Gordon Highlanders, a group of soldiers stationed on the Mediterranean island of Malta.

Hill used this calotype as the basis for Wood's portrait in The Disruption Picture, even though the minister may not have been present at the signing ceremony. The adjustments suggest that Hill and Adamson did not view their photographs as mere preparatory sketches but rather as independent works of art.


Bruno Bischofberger Bischofberger, Bruno

Light in the Darkness: The Photographs of Hill and Adamson (July 20 to October 22, 1999)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 20 to October 10, 1999

Ford, Colin, ed. and Roy Strong. An Early Victorian Album: The Photographic Masterpieces (1843-1847) of David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson (New York: Knopf, 1976), p. 81.