Credit: © The Royal Society
    Image number: RS.9261
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    Portrait of John Tyndall

    29 July 1850
    John Tyndall (1820 - 1893, British) , Physicist
    Object type
    Archive reference number
    height (drawing (framed)): 720mm
    width (drawing (framed)): 610mm
    In this, one of three Tyndall portraits owned by the Royal Society, the scientist appears at a relatively young 30 years of age. The portrait is of a serious and vigorous man in formal mid-19th century dress – black coat, waistcoat and tie over a high-collar. Tyndall’s characteristic neck-whiskers are in place, his hair reddish-brown and eyes blue.

    John Tyndall was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1852.
    By Henderson of Halifax
    Object history
    The portrait was drawn on Sunday 29 July 1850 when Henderson, Thomas Archer Hirst FRS (1830-1892), Tyndall and their literary friend January Searle spent the day together climbing Beacon Hill, Halifax. Tyndall remarks in his Journal (f. 503):"Tom [Hirst] entrapped me into having my portrait taken by him" [Henderson]. There is a fuller description of the walk in Hirst's diary for that day (folio 635).

    Reproduced in Eve & Creasey’s Life and listed as being ‘in the possession of Mr Jocelyn Proby’ in 1945. [A.S.Eve & C.H. Creasey, Life and Work of John Tyndall. (London, Macmillan, 1945)].

    Royal Society Minutes of Council, Printed, 7 October 1976. “Reported the gift by Mr J. Proby of three portraits of John Tyndall, F.R.S., a portrait of Mrs Tyndall and a collection of Tyndall’s scientific books.” [Royal Society Minutes of Council, Printed, volume 25 1973-1976 minute 40 p.207 meeting 7 October 1976].

    Part of a gift of four portraits and associated books, shares provenance with portraits by Zippenfeld (x2) and Hamilton.
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