Sir John Frederick William Herschel (1792-1871)
This engraving of a photograph shows John Frederick William Herschel seated, with his right elbow resting on a table as he looks, thoughtfully, into the middle distance. On the table by his arm is an unspecified book. This portrait dates from around 1860 when Herschel had made a name for himself (separate to his father's) through his popular science writing, his experimental work, his voyage to the Cape of Good Hope to catalogue the nebulae, double stars and star clusters of the southern hemisphere, his brief career as master of the Mint and his contributions to various scientific society and governmental committees! Even by 1830 it was said that to be a scientist meant to be 'as much like John Herschel as possible', by 1860 he was a household name. This portrait comes from a series entitled 'THE DRAWING ROOM PORTRAIT GALLERY OF EMINENT PERSONAGES' published by the Illustrated News of the World. From the 1840s there was a rapid increase in the number of heavily illustrated popular weekly newspapers and periodicals on the market in Britain. Within these were a group aimed more at the artisan audience than the masses. The most successful within this subcategory was the Illustrated London News (1842- ) which spawned many imitators among them the Illustrated News of the World which lasted only 5 years (1858-1863).
John Jabez Edwin Mayall
Original size: 412 mm x 287 mm
- Image reference: PY6063
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Herschel Collection
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