Scots, by Juan de Courbes
On 27 April, visitors to the National Library of Scotland can see the first ever art book to be illustrated with photographs.
Published in 1848, William Stirling's 'Annals of the artists of Spain' contains the first published photographs of Spanish artworks: El Greco, Velázquez, Murillo and Goya. Including images of paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints, the book helped Spanish art become well-known around the world.
Only 50 copies were produced, and the Library's is one of only 25 with extra plates. The additional photographs were taken by an assistant of William Henry Fox Talbot — the founder of modern photography.
Visitors can also see a film of the book being restored:
- Cleaning the pages
- Repairing tears
- Repairing spine damage.
The Library's Conservation team carried out careful restoration work on the volume, before it will be loaned to Madrid's Museo del Prado for an exhibition in May. Watch the conservation video on YouTube
'Annals of the artists of Spain' will be on display in the Library's boardroom from 12.00 until 14.00 on Wednesday 27 April, along with the short film showing the conservation work.
Read more in our 'Annals of the artists of Spain' press release
26 April 2016