David Octavius Hill
PAINTER AND PHOTOGRAPHER
Landscape and portrait painter, D.O. Hill is nevertheless best known to history as a pioneer photographer. He was the first artist to apply the new invention of photography to portraiture, and many of the calotypes which he made of eminent figures are now a valued part of the national photographic archive. Hill had a studio on Calton Hill, and was closely associated in his photographic work with Robert Adamson, of St Andrews.
In the free church assembly hall, Edinburgh, is a historic picture by Hill, containing no fewer than 500 portraits of all the leading lay and clerical members who demitted from the Church of Scotland at the Disruption in 1843. The picture shows the act of signing the deed of demission, and it took Hill more than 20 years to make all the portraits.
Hill is buried in the Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh, where there is a bronze bust of him by his widow.