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A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere     Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

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Firth of Forth

 'Royal George'

Leith Harbour

    The Royal George in the Firth of Forth at Leith  -  Royal Visit to Edinurgh of either King George IV in 1822 or Queen Victoria in 1842.

Painting by Thomas Buttersworth

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to  Bryan Oliphant, New York, New York, USA

'Royal George'

Leith Harbour

Thank you to Bryan Oliphant, who has clearly been researching the various paintings of Royal Visits to Edinburgh sending the following comments concerning Buttersworth's paintings of these occasions.

Bryan Oliphant wrote:

The Paintings

The 3 paintings of George IV visit to Edinburgh are chronologically:.

  -  'Go Antiques' (Thomas Buttersworh),

  -  Bell Rock (late Thomas Buttersworh with collaboration by his son, James Edward Buttersworth),

  -  My version which is most likely entirely executed by James Edward Buttersworth circa 1842.

if you are familiar with the works of the two artists you can easily tell the difference between their work.  In a nut shell, while under the influence of his father, James developed a style that was basically a refinement and modification of his father's.

It was not until he immigrated to New York around 1845 that he became his own man artistically. Thomas Buttersworth's works are crude by comparison to his son's. I

I date the 'Go Antiques' picture to circa 1822 as is compares favourably to a large body of extant work by Thomas Buttersworth executed in the late teens to the early 1820's.

it is improbable that either father or son went to Scotland to view either of the royal debakations in 1822 or 1842. instead they relied on newspaper written and graphic accounts as well as print sources which was common among commercial artists of the period.

Styles of Painting

Notice how stiff all aspects of the painting are in comparison to the later two examples; and especially to the third example which shows James' hand. To put it bluntly, Thomas could not draw. Look at the draftsmanship, and especially the modelling of the vessels and sails.

Notice the liquidity of the water, the atmospheric effects that give the painting a sense of depth.  James floated his pigments in plenty of medium, and his best pictures have a liquid flowing quality about them. both father and son used a stylized sky, but in the third picture James is clearly on his way to developing his American style of sky and atmosphere.

in short, there is a pronounced progression from the crude to the sublime in these three pictures - from early Thomas Buttersworth, through mature Thomas in collaboration with his son James whom he was training, to a James Buttersworth rapidly maturing artistically on the verge of of emigrating to New York where he will become the most sought after marine artist of the second half of the 19th century.

 All 3 paintings share the same basic composition.  All 3 are "formula" paintings.  This is not a knock, as all marine paintings no matter how good or badly executed the artist rely on a set of basic compositional techniques which produce a totally artificial construct that actually appears to be realistic.

The painting by Thomas with frigate obscuring light house on island in background is the crudest when it comes to composition and execution. The frigate is dominant element and focal point. however, cutter with white ensign is in right middle ground beating to windward.

In the second picture the cutter beating to windward is the focal point, she obscures the lighthouse on the island in the distance. this picture is basically a refinement and modification of frigate painting. as a composition it is far superior to the version dominated by frigate that upon close examination couldn't possibly be sailing downhill out of the painting.

The third version, exposes the light house as a focal point to give a greater sense of depth, and the cutter rather than beating to windward is running before the wind flying a blue ensign rather than a white one. in short, version three is the most "

Commercial Artists

Make no bones about it, father and son were commercial artists.  I would not be surprised if there are another twenty variations of this subject extant.

The Buttersworths had plenty of competition, and this might be one of the reasons why James left for the greener pastures of America circa 1845. His father and tutor died in November 1842, and there is nothing in the written record that indicates that he had any particular reason for staying.

 

Paintings of Royal Visits to Edinburgh

  The Royal George in the Firth of Forth at Leith  -  Royal Visit to Edinurgh of either King George IV in 1822 or Queen Victoria in 1842.

Please click here to see and read about the Brian Oliphant's Buttersworth painting of the Royal Visit to Edinburgh.

 

More Photos:  Firth of Forth

 

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Links to Other Pages

EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere     Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks