A photograph of Sir John Herschel

I didn’t have time to write a post today before it became necessary for me to go to the pub, so I thought I’d just share this marvellous photograph of astronomer Sir John Herschel taken in 1867 by pioneering portrait photographer Julia Margaret Cameron.

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3 Responses to “A photograph of Sir John Herschel”

  1. Bryn Jones Says:

    The story is that she ruffled his hair before taking the photograph, which irritated him.

  2. Alan Penny Says:

    I always think that it is a pity that it is common to use pictures of scientists in old age, and often in ‘screwball’ mode – as in the well- known photograph of an old Einstein with wild hair, sticking his tongue out.
    Wouldn’t it give a fairer impression of what scientists really look like to show them as they were when they were doing their best work? To show this, here are portraits of John Herschel, Charles Darwin, and Albert Einstein as young men.
    The portrait of Herschel is of age about 40, just before his expedition to South Africa to map the southern galaxies. That of Darwin is of age about 30 after his HMS Beagle expedition. Interestingly, Darwin visited Herschel when his ship docked at Cape Town, and it is thought that the two men discussed evolution, a subject Herschel had written on.
    The picture of Einstein is from 1904-1905, when he was still at the Patent Office aged about 25, and formulating The Special Theory of Relativity.

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