image halley_rs9284
Image number: RS.9284
Credit: © The Royal Society
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Portrait of Edmond Halley


ca. 1690


Edmond Halley (1656-1742, British), Astronomer


Thomas Murray (1663-1735, British), Painter

Object type



height (painting): 765mm
width (painting): 639mm



Edmond Halley as a relatively young man, apparently in his thirties. The sitter is shown at half-length with long, dark naturally styled hair and has blue eyes. He is dressed in a loose brown robe with wide sleeves over a white shirt worn open at the neck. In his left hand he holds a sheet of paper upon which is drawn a diagram of an elliptical orbit.

Edmond Halley was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1678.

Object history

Both of the Society’s pictures of Edmond Halley were in the Society’s collection by 1768, as noted by a contemporary visitor: [ “A list of original pictures at the Royal Society House. Communicated by a Connoisseur’, Gentleman’s Magazine, vol. 38 (1768), pp. 62-3.]

The Royal Society agreed that the portrait of Edmund Halley by T Murray be lent to the Executive of the Edinburgh Internationl Exhibition of 1886. Indicated in a letter from Herbert Rix, to the Secretary, Edinburgh International Exhibition, March 1886. NLB/1/90

Associated place

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