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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Andrew James Scott

Dates:  1817, 18 August - 1884, 21 October
Died:  St Leonards

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John Falconer, British Library 
A Biographical Dictionary of 19th Century Photographers in South and South-East Asia

Amateur, India MD, Edinburgh, 1838; LRCS, Edinburgh, 1842; Indian Medical Service, 1844-63. Amateur photographer in Madras in late 1850s-60s, some of his prints were shown at the London International Exhibition of 1862. Honorary Secretary to the Madras Photographic Society in 1861.
At the Madras Photographic Society meeting of 25 September 1856, Scott
‘exhibited views on paper of the Parthasarathy Pagoda, Triplicane, (engraved for this number) Sir Christopher Rawlinson’s house and of a sago palm (Caryota urens), the former toned by Chloride of Platinum and the two latter by Chloride of gold. The tint produced by the Chloride of Platinum is very delicate and does not appear to be inferior to that produced by gold...With reference to Dr. Scott’s representations of the sago palm and Mr. Mitchell’s of the Yucca Gloriosa, he observed that such delineations are of great value, and that a series of well selected Indian fruit and forest trees with marked characteristics is a great desideratum and would be of special value to the European Botanist.’[1]
Showed twelve 6x7 inch prints from waxed paper negatives ‘of rare trees and views of places well known in the Presidency’ at the Madras Photographic Society Exhibition of 1858.[2]
At the Madras Exhibition of 1855,
‘Dr Scott also exhibits some small views on paper of the Cathedral, the Cenotaph, the Munro statue and St Andrew’s Church; they appear to have been taken with an indifferent lens...Dr A. J. Scott exhibits a large and varied collection of negative portraits, taken by the collodion process and printed on paper, several of the likenesses are striking and the positions of some of the figures good, but the proportions are not artistic, too much of the lower part of the figure being shown and the head being in general too high and out of focus. The Jury would remark that the contrasts of light and shade are too strong, the half tints having been lost from too short an exposure in the camera. The attitudes also of the figures are susceptible of much improvement. The native costumes exhibited by Dr Scott form the best part of this large and varied collection[;] they are on a larger scale and in more artistic proportions, but they appear to have been taken with an inferior lens they are deserving however of honorable mention’.[3]
Took a series of photographs of the ‘Elliot Marbles’ at Madras, before they were shipped to England, 1855.
At the 1860-1 exhibition of the Madras Photographic Society,
‘One of the most attractive contributions...was a collection of upwards of 70 portraits of the residents in Madras, taken by Dr A. J. Scott, Honorary Secretary to the Society. We believe it was Dr Scott’s original intention to have confined his efforts to the portraiture of his medical brethren, but the demand for portraits became so great, that members from all ranks of society began to apply for their likenesses, and a stimulus was thus given to the art which will probably prove beneficial, as Dr Scott not only took many good likenesses of the leading members of Society but also communicated freely his knowledge of the processes and details by which his pictures were produced.’[4]

  1. Λ The Indian Journal of Art, Science and Manufacture, 2nd series, vol 1, no 2, 1856, p. 91. 
  2. Λ Madras Journal of Literature and Science, 1858-9, p.173. 
  3. Λ Madras Exhibition of raw products, arts, and manufactures of Southern India, 1855. Reports by the Juries (Athenaeum Press, Madras, p. 134. 
  4. Λ Madras Journal of Literature and Science, no.11, new series, May 1861, p.195. 

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