|Dates: ||1798 - 1879|
An advocate in Edinburgh who came from a distinguished family, Napier was known mostly for his writings on Scottish law and history. His views were staunchly conservative and unpopular but widely respected, and his obituary noted that “he had a great fund of humour.” Just as photography was being introduced into Scotland, Napier became the sheriff for Dumfriesshire. He had his portrait taken by David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson. Intrigued by the process, he promptly joined the Edinburgh Calotype Club. In 1856 Napier became one of the founding members of the Photographic Society of Scotland. It is unclear whether he was really a calotypist or simply a very interested bystander to the new art.
Roger Taylor & Larry J. Schaaf Impressed by Light: British Photographs from Paper Negatives, 1840-1860 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2007)
This biography is courtesy and copyright of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is included here with permission.
Date last updated: 4 Nov 2012.
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