L J M Daguerre

Stage Designer

Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre 1787-1851 was a stage designer who painted scenes for the theatre long before he made his discovery of  photography,  the Daguerreotype

From 1822 onwards, Daguerre created dioramas.

Dioramas were enormous paintings 22 meters long and 14 meters high, painted on transparent linen, which gave a spectacular effect when lit by combinations of light from in front and behind.

The dioramas were displayed  in a specially erected buildings in Paris and London, then later in Dublin, Liverpool, Manchester and Edinburgh.

Daguerre, on announcing his discovery offered it to the world, free to be used without any payment - except in England and Wales, where he gave permission only to Baird to use it or to give licences to others to use it.

There was no such restriction in Edinburgh or elsewhere in Scotland.

The Edinburgh Diorama

The Edinburgh Diorama was opened in Lothian Road in late 1827    [RDW]    It appeared in the Edinburgh Trade Directories under the management of Joseph Hall, lithographer, each year from 1831 until 1845.   There was also a second diorama in Edinburgh in the early 1840s.  It was situated beside the National Galleries in Princes Street, about half a mile from Lothian Road.

Between 1822 and 1839, twenty of Daguerre's dioramas were displayed in Paris.  Each display lasted for several months.  Three scenes painted by Daguerre were local to Edinburgh.  They were:

-  Interior of Chapel of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, by Moonlight

Roslyn Chapel near Edinburgh, effect of sun

-  Edinburgh during the Fire of 15 November 1824

Dioramas were shown in Edinburgh.  Further details can be found on R Derek Wood's web site:  The Diorama in Great Britain in the 1820s.

Holyrood Chapel  -  Oil Painting

Daguerre also made an oil paining of his Holyrood Chapel scene.  No evidence has been found that Daguerre ever visited Edinburgh. [HAG:D]  [RDW]



Interior of Chapel of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, by Moonlight

Holyrood Chapel  -  Painting by Daguerre

©  Reproduced by courtesy of The Board of Trustees of the National Museums & Galleries on Merseyside (Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool) 

Other oil paintings in and around Edinburgh by Daguerre are:

-  Fire in the High Street

-  Roslyn Chapel

Holyrood Chapel  -  Post Card

 John Patrick

Holyrood Palace  -  post card  -  Photographer: John Patrick

©  Copyright: For permission to reproduce, please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk

Here is a post card of the same scene from John Patrick who moved from Fife to Edinburgh in 1884, opening a studio specialising in portrait and landscape photography.