Robert Macpherson

1811 - 1872


Early years

Before becoming a photographer, Robert Macpherson studied medicine in Edinburgh, 1831-35. 

He became a painter in 1840 and before taking up photography in 1851.

[Internet site:  WebNet - un monde de solutions + John Hannavy article: The A to Z of Photographic History - 'M']

Photographic Society of Scotland

When he entered prints of Venice in the first Photographic Society of Scotland Exhibition in 1856, he was described as R Macpherson [Rome].

Six years later, the British Journal of Photography reported on a meeting of the Photographic Society of Scotland held on 9 December 1862:

"The walls of the room were decorated with about 250 of MacPherson's views of Rome.  They were of large size, and comprised all the subjects of interest in the Eternal City."

[BJP:  1862, p.469]


John Hannavy describes Robert Macpherson as:

"... an innovator.  His experiments with photolithography in the mid 1850s were years ahead of most of his contemporaries.".

[John Hannavy  -  Article: The A to Z of Photographic History - 'M'  in Photographica World 2004/2, pp40-44.]


Commenting on Macpherson's  photography in Rome, John Hannavy writes:

"[He] was considered the photographer of Rome when those on the Victorian Grand Tour to the Mediterranean started bringing bak their photographic memories if their trip.

He was also an innovator

[John Hannavy  -  Article: The A to Z of Photographic History - 'M'  in Photographica World 2004/2, pp40-44.]

Macpherson Web Site

Unfortunately no longer active - Has it changed its name?

An original photographic album, dated 1 August 1863, containing 132 albumen photos, by Robert Macpherson, of the Vatican Sculptures, Rome, was recently been discovered [2003] in a ruin in Quebec, Canada.

Photographs from this album were placed on the Canadian web site, WebNet - un monde de solutions! together with text in both French and English.  The site also had a list of other web sites that contain references to Robert Macpherson.  [Denis Cloutier]

Unfortunately this web site seems to be no longer active.  Is it available at some other address?

However information on other known photographic albums by Robert Macpherson can be found here.


Robert MacPherson


Early Photographic Albums

Albumen Print



Links to other PSS exhibition pages