image Tyndall J, P0134
Image number: RS.9262
Credit: © The Royal Society
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Portrait of John Tyndall




John Tyndall (1820-1893, British), Physicist


Victor Zippenfeld (fl. 1834-1871, German), Painter

Object type



height (painting): 600mm
width (painting): 465mm



Tyndall in late middle-age (57 years), by Victor Zippenfeld (fl.1834-1871), shown in half-profile facing right, his face therefore half-shadowed. Dressed formally in black, his white shirt displaying a single gold stud. Tyndall has full and greying neck whiskers. Most likely an image commemorating his marriage and painted on the continent shortly afterwards. Certainly intended as a pair to the picture of Louisa Tyndall.

John Tyndall was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1864.

Object history

One of a pair of portraits [the other, Louisa Tyndall, nee Hamilton]. John and Louisa Tyndall were married in 1876 and built a cottage at Bel Alp, Valais in 1877, the apparent date of these images. This suggests that the paintings commemorate the Tyndall’s early married life.

Royal Society Minutes of Council, Printed, volume 25 1973-1976 minute 40 p.207 meeting 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."

Associated place

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