Royal photographer’s pictures recreated

editorial image
  • Photographer retraces steps of George Washington Wilson to recreate iconic images
  • George Washington Wilson first person to photograph Queen and Prince Consort at Balmoral
  • Exhibition to open in the Gallery of the Sir Duncan Rice Library towards the end of the year

Images by a photographer who took the first pictures of the Queen and Prince Consort at Balmoral are to be recreated for a display.

John Perivolaris, an independent documentary and fine art photographer, has spent two weeks recreating some of the most iconic photographs of Aberdeen taken by George Washington Wilson.

Perivolaris has retraced the snaps taken by the royal photographer 150 years ago.

An exhibition of the pictures is expected to open at Aberdeen University’s Sir Duncan Rice Library later this year.

George Washington Wilson (1823-1893) was born in Alvah, Banffshire. The son of a crofter, he went on to establish himself first as an artist then as a photographer at 25 Crown Street, Aberdeen.

In 1853 he was the first person to photograph the Queen and Prince Consort at Balmoral, later receiving many more commissions from the Royal family, and by the early 1880s the company he founded had become the largest and best-known photographic and printing firm in Scotland.

Wilson toured the world with his camera but he also recorded on glass plates many views of his native north-east and particularly Aberdeen city.

Perivolaris has been working with Aberdeen University’s archives to identify a selection of key images to inform his own photographic journey around the city.

He has captured many of the same images from the same vantage points using a traditional style 4 x 5 camera with a tripod and hood, to replicate the equipment Wilson would have used.

Perivolaris’ images will be displayed alongside Wilson’s own photographs in the exhibition, which is titled Cities of Ghosts and which has been supported by the Aberdeen Humanities Fund.

Photographs courtesy of the University of Aberdeen.