image whitehurst j, v011
Image number: RS.14108
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Portrait of John Whitehurst




John Whitehurst (1713-1788, British), Instrument Maker


William Hopkins Craft (1730-1811, British), Painter


Joseph Wright of Derby (b.1734, British), Painter

Object type

Archive reference number



height (painting): 255mm
width (painting): 225mm



Half-length portrait of John Whitehurst in profile, seated at a drawingboard. Whitehurst is dressed in a brown coat and waistcoat with a white shirt. He holds a pencil in his right hand, over a geological drawing. The drawing is inscribed: ‘A section of the Strata at M….’ There is a landscape with a volcano behind him.

Painted inscription in white enamel, verso: “Portrait of John Whitehurst FRS. Author of an Inquiry Into the Original State and formation of the Earth and other Philosophical Works. W: H: Craft Fect.1786”.

Painting is in a gilt-metal laurel frame within ebonised wood.

John Whitehurst (1713-1788) was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1779.

Object history

Presented to the Society by Sir Alexander Richardson Binnie (1839-1917), British civil engineer, 1897.

Original painting by Joseph Wright is at Derby Museum and Art Gallery (on loan from Mr. Nicholas Smith, 2007.)