Robert Macpherson

1811 - 1872

Albumen Print

What is known of this albumen print by Robert Macpherson?

See 'Answer' below.

An albumen print by Robert Macpherson

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Paul Remagen, Seattle, Washington, USA


  Reproduced with acknowledgement to
Paul Remagen, Seattle, Washington, USA


Robert Macpherson

Albumen Print


Thank you to Paul Remagen, Seattle, Washington for sending me the photograph above.  Paul is hoping to discover more about this photo.  If you can help, please e-mail me.

Paul wrote:

Macpherson Photo

"I am wondering if perhaps you can give me some additional information about a Macpherson albumin photograph that I own.  I bought it about 25 years ago in San Francisco. 

At the time, I was told the the title of the photograph was 'The Hall of the Philosophers'.  But, in my research I have not been able to find anything concerning this. 

I discovered your website today while doing a search and saw mention of 'Macpherson's Vatican Sculptures and 'Macpherson's Sculptures of the Capitoline Museum'."

Paul Remagen, Seattle, Washington, USA:  July 2005



Many thanks to Douglas Olcott, Berkeley, California, USA for providing the following answer within 24 hours!

Museo Pio-Clementino

"The print which you received from Paul Remagen of Seattle, WA, is of the Gallery of Statues in the Museo Pio-Clementino in the Vatican (the Museum of Pope Pius V1 and Pope Clementine XIV, once their summer house). This gallery contains only Greek sculpture and Roman copies of Greek sculpture.

This photograph is listed in a catalogue of Macpherson's 'Photographs' of Rome published in 1858 with the same number 42 and with the description "Interior in the Vatican, styled the Hall of the Philosophers". It is listed again in a catalogue of his 'Photographs' dated December 1871 as number 350 and with the description "The Gallery of Statues, Vatican". The contents of his general catalogue grew over the years.

I have seen this photo also at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, where it has the latter description. A book I have on Rome by the Rev. Albert Kuhn published in 1916 has a view of this gallery by a different photographer and also calls it the Gallery of Statues. This is also the name used today. Sometime between 1858 and 1871 the name of this gallery or hall was changed.

Interior views by Macpherson are rare (and worth studying with magnification).   There are only six interior views, for example, included in his 'Vatican Sculptures'."

Douglas Olcott, Berkeley, California, USA.  July 2005



Another photographer  -  The same Gallery

The Gallery of Statues in the Museo Pio-Clementino

Thank you to Douglas Olcott for sending me the photograph below of the same gallery by a different photographer.  Douglas wrote:

Museo Pio-Clementino

Alinari Photograph

"Here's another image of that gallery in the Vatican from my collection. This photo is by Alinari The date is somewhere between 1860 and 1878.

The original photo was taken from a greater distance from the central seated figure than the Macpherson, therefore the detail is not as good as the Macpherson after you enlarge it.

The Alinari photo, however, does take advantage of the natural lighting to produce an almost chiaroscuro effect when looking at the total assemblage of sculptures."

Museo Pio-Clementino

   Photograph by Alinari of the Gallery of Statues in the Museo Pio-Clementino, Rome

Douglas Olcott, Berkeley, California, USA.  July 2005



Robert MacPherson


Early Photographic Albums

Albumen Print