Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Macpherson's Vatican sculptures, 1868
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Overview
Table of contents What's This?
In addition to the photo inventory checklist leaf, album includes all 126 numbered photographs listed of Greek and Roman sculpture in what was then referred to as the Vatican Museum, as well as 6 interior views, lettered A-F: Braccio Nuovo, Chiaramonte, Hall of the Animals, Hall of Statues, Hall of the Greek Cross, and the Hall of the Candelabra.
Scottish photographer and art dealer in Rome. Born in Edinburgh in 1815, Macpherson studied medicine, and began his professional career as a surgeon. Possibly for health reasons, he gave up the practice of medicine, and traveled to Rome, where he settled in 1840. Having had some success as an artist back home, he opened a studio at 48 Via Gregoriana, and began studying and drawing the great artworks in the Roman museums. His greatest triumph was his discovery of the Michelangelo painting, "Deposition of Christ," now in the National Gallery in London. In 1851, Macpherson took up photography, working in the Taupenot technique--a collodio-albumen process--to produce his photographs of the Vatican Museum sculptures. He photographed Roman antiquities in other locations as well, such as Tivoli, Perugia, Frascati, Orvieto, and Capri; his last catalog of 1871 included 278 descriptions of the statues of the Capitoline Museum, and 357 descriptions of views of Rome. Macpherson died in Rome of malaria in 1872.
1 album (134 photographic prints) : albumen ; 33 x 26 cm (album)

Caption title from first leaf, which is a checklist of available photos, printed by Emily Faithfull, Printer and Publisher in Ordinary to Her Majesty, Victoria Press, Great Coram Street, W.C. Note on recto of checklist leaf reads: "N.B.--Mr Macpherson finds it necessary to state that all his photographs are stamped with his name on the mounting-board; and also that they are not exposed nor to be had at any of the shops, and are only sold at his studio, No. 12, Vicolo d'Alibert, Via del Babuino; near the Piazza di Spagna. In selecting photographs, it is well to put a mark against the no. on the list, and in ordering those that may be wished, to note down only the no. and not the name of the subject, retaining (after the numbers shall have been copied,) the same list as a check upon the order which has afterwards to be executed in Rome, and to be paid for on their arrival in London or Edinburgh."

Production date from price list for this collection, not included in present volume, but dated 1st March 1868; cf. http://www.edinphoto.org.uk/3/3_pss_exhibitors_macpherson_early_photographic_albums.htm;  

Photographic prints are mounted on rectos of leaves of heavy white paper; pencilled numbers below correspond to the titles in the photo inventory checklist at the front of the album; photos lack Macpherson's trademark oval embossed stamp; cf. also printer's note on inventory leaf.

Spec. Coll. copy: Bound in vellum boards; large gilt ornaments in five of six spine panels; gold-stamped black leather spine label with title "Macpherson's Vatican sculptures"; marbled endpapers; edges stained red. In modern beige cloth clamshell box; spine title "Macpherson's Vatican sculpture."
Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.
Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.