James Valentine (1815 - 1879) was a well-known photographer and publisher from Dundee, Scotland. Shown here are pictures found in an album of his work entitled 'Photographs Scottish Scenery' depicting scenery and iconic Scottish landmarks.
The pictures taken by Valentine highlight many areas of Scottish life. The beauty of nature, its historic sites, cultural inspiration and the industrial heart are all features which can be seen in the photographs of this album.
Features of Scotland such as the natural geological wonder of The Colonnade
on the Coast of Staffa Island, the beauty of the Trossachs
region, the industrial heritage of the Caledonian Canal
and even the iconic Highland cow
are all included in Valentine's collection.
The history of Scotland is illustrated through photographs of sites such as Pluscarden Abbey
near Elgin which is the only medieval monastery in Britain which is still in use; or St Martin's Cross
which sits at the entrance to Iona Abbey and was one of a series of crosses guiding people to the grave of St Columbus.
There is also a nod towards Scotland's cultural heritage with photos of the Brig O'Doon
in Ayr, the setting for Burns poem Tam O'Shanter and Loch Katrine
, inspiration for work from the writer Sir Walter Scott and the painter Joseph Mallord William Turner.
Valentines landscape photography was established in the 1860's and became very well known, so much so that in 1868, he was commissioned by Queen Victoria to photograph 40 Highland scenes. The front cover of the album reads "Photographs Scottish Scenery, by special appointment, J.Valentine, Photographer, Dundee" and may be in reference to his appointment as the Royal Photographer.