John Stevens, R.S.A. (1793?-1868) with his Sculpture "The Last of the Romans", c. August 1844-August 1845
portrait, single, male, exterior;
David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson made several photographs of artists from the Royal Scottish Society of Art in the mid-1840s, just a few years after the invention of photography. They managed to capture the likeness of hundreds of members of Edinburgh society as well as visitors to that city, and their partnership resulted in some of the most enduring photographic portraits ever made. John Stevens (c. 1793-1868), a painter and sculptor, appears in the Hill and Adamson portrait with his work "The Last of the Romans". Although he never painted portraits, Hill's training as an artist is evident in the way he carefully poses his sitters and in his attention to where and how light falls upon them. Here the artist is shown leaning casually against the plinth that displays his sculpture. The stern look on the face of the portrait bust is echoed in the face of its maker, Stevens.