image Davy P0032
Image number: RS.9343
Credit: © The Royal Society
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Portrait of Humphry Davy

Date

ca. 1821

Sitter

Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829, British), Chemist

Creator

Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830, British), Painter

Object type

Archive reference number

Material

Dimensions

height (painting): 1424mm
width (painting): 1115mm

Subject

Description

Davy is portrayed at three quarter length in fashionable Regency dress. He wears a high white stock and white waistcoat with a black jacket and matching overcoat, the latter open to reveal a silk lining. He wears grey trousers with a blue ribbon at the waist and kidskin gloves. The left arm is crooked to the waist, the right rests on a red cloth-lined table, upon which rests a miner’s safety lamp to Davy’s design. A deep turquoise-blue sky is balanced by a rich red cloth to Davy’s left side; the two colours separated by an architectural pillar.

Humphry Davy was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1803, he served as its President from 1820 to 1827.

Transcription

SIR HUMPHRY DAVY (1778-1829) SECRETARY 1807-12. PRESIDENT 1820-7. By SIR THOMAS LAWRENCE

Object history

Presented by Lady Jane Davy, 1829.

Jane Davy’s presentation letter is preserved within the Society’s archives: “Being so fortunate as to possess an invaluable little picture of Sitr Humphry, I feel enabled to resign the only Portrait of him by his celebrated friend the President of the Royal Academy...The Picture is at Sir Thomas Lawrence’s in Russell Square & he knows my present resolution...“, Royal Society Miscellaneous Correspondence, MC/1/175, Jane Davy, Park Street, 3 November 1829, to [President of the Royal Society].

Associated place

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