Portrait of John Stuart Blackie (1809-1895) a Scottish scholar and man of letters by the Edinburgh photographer John Moffat. Moffat changed his design on the verso of his carte de visite a number of times. The design on the back of this one was used in the years 1861-73 .
After attending classes at Edinburgh University (1825-1826), Blackie spent three years at Aberdeen as a student of theology. In 1829 he went to Germany, and after studying at Gottingen and Berlin (where he came under the influence of Heeren, Otfried Muller, Schleieracher, Neander and Blockh) he accompanied Bunsen to Italy and Rome. On his return he studied law in 1834 and was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates. A translation of Faust, which he published in 1834 was well received and a year or two of desultory literary work he was appointed to the newly-instituted chair of Humanity (Latin) in the Marischal Collage in 1839.
Blackie was a Radical and Scottish nationalist in politics, of a fearlessly independent type: possessed of great conversational powers and general versatility, his picturesque eccentricity made him one of the characters of the Edinburgh of the day, and a well-known figure as he went about in his plaid, worn shepherd-wise, wearing a broad-brimmed hat, and carrying a big stick.
John Moffat (1819-1894)
Moffat was a photographer in Edinburgh. He was born in Aberdeen and moved to Edinburgh in 1826. He took up photography as an amateur from about 1850, and as a professional in 1853. His business remained in Princes Street for over a hundred years. By 1887, it was employing 20 photographic assistants. John Moffat was a wet plate collodion worker who went on to take an early interest in new developments. He took stereo photographs and was one of the early bromoil workers.
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