Painting with Light

I managed – annoyingly – to miss the private view of Tate Britain’s exhibition Painting with Light last night, but managed to catch up with it this morning.   I hadn’t realised that David Hill of Hill and Adamson was Secretary of the Royal Scottish Academy, so brought a painter’s sensibility to the composition of their panoramic views of Edinburgh seen from the Castle or Calton Hill.   Their work was admired by Elizabeth Eastlake, wife of the Director of the National Gallery (and PRA), as showing ‘no attempt to idealise a rather rugged style of physiognomy…we felt that the spirit of Rembrandt had revived’ and by William Etty who felt that Adamson’s photographs were ‘revivals of Rembrandt, Titian and Spagnoletto’.   There are also wonderful photographs by Roger Fenton who was ‘photographer to the British Museum’.