Prince Kung

Prince Kung

View larger image


Edinburgh-born John Thomson (1837-1921) was one of the great names of early photography. His photographic legacy is one of astonishing quality and depth.

Thomson's images of China and South-East Asia brought the land, culture, and people of the Far East alive for the 'armchair travellers' of Victorian Britain.

He was one of the pioneers of photojournalism, using his camera to record life on London's streets in the 1870s. As a society photographer he also captured the rich and famous in the years before the First World War.

These pages present a brief introduction to Thomson's work, with examples drawn from the National Library of Scotland's collections.


Text © National Library of Scotland

Thomson reproductions:
National Library of Scotland/Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine