Credit: © The Royal Society
    Image number: RS.9285
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    Portrait of Edmond Halley

    ca. 1736
    Edmond Halley (1656 - 1742, British) , Astronomer
    Michael Dahl (1659 - 1743, Swedish) , Painter
    Object type
    Archive reference number
    height (painting): 1267mm
    width (painting): 1020mm
    Edmond Halley as an old man, wearing a loose black robe over a brown coat. Beneath that, a white shirt with a fine squared collar at the neck. He wears a grey wig, shoulder-length and high up from the forehead. Behind him, in a curtained recess, are two bound books on a shelf. Another volume rests on a surface in front of Halley, over which lies, held in his right hand, a sheet of paper with a diagram of concentric circles.

    The figure is from “An account of the cause of the change of the variation of the magnetical needle with an hypothesis of the structure of the internal parts of the Earth…”, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, vol.16 1686-1692 pp.563-578, in which Halley attempts an explanation for the movements of the Earth’s magnetic poles through its internal structure.

    Edmond Halley was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1678.
    Dr.Ed.HALLEY AGED 80
    EDMOND HALEY (1656-1742) CLERK 1686-98. SECRETARY 1713-21. By MICHAEL DAHL
    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.]
    Associated place
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