James Ferguson, F.R.S.
This mezzotint of the astronomer, instrument-maker, lecturer and author James Ferguson (1710-1776) was published in the year that he died. He is shown with two volumes, one entitled 'Newton's Philosophy', possibly a copy of Henry Pemberton's 'A View of Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophy' (1728), which was undoubtedly an inspiration for his own popular work, 'Astronomy explained upon Sir Isaac Newton's Principles' (1756). Ferguson was born in Scotland and began his career by drawing miniature portraits. His largely self-taught knowledge of astronomy and ability in making mechanical models let him to London in 1743. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1763, by which time he had become well-known for his work, especially his touring lectures to 'Gentlemen and Ladies' on astronomy and mechanics that were illustrated with demonstrations of working models, many of which he had made himself.
Original size: 280 mm x 380 mm
- Image reference: PT4016
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Gabb Collection
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