Portrait of Sir William Herschel, astronomer, 1814

Made:
1814 in England
publisher:
Colnaghi and Company
maker:
Friedrich Rehberg
engraver:
James Godby

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Portrait of Dr William Herschel (1738-1822), astronomer, Engraving by James Godby of a drawing
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Portrait of Dr William Herschel (1738-1822), astronomer, Engraving by James Godby of a drawing
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Engraving; stipple. Portrait of Dr. William Herschel (1738-1822), astronomer, Engraving by James Godby of a drawing made by Fr. Rehberg in 1814. Platemark 31x22.6cm, image 24.2x19.7cm [Cut within platemark to 30x24cm, removing imprint]. Dedicated to Sir Joseph Banks. - With detailed citation of Herschel. - Portrait of William Herschel, HL to R before sky with crescent moon and stars; "The background represents part of the Constellation of Gemini, with a telescopic aspect of the Georgium Sidus, as it was discovered by Dr. Herschell at Bath, ...1781"

This James Godby engraving of William Herschel from a drawing by Rehberg in 1814 shows him in old age. The portrait is composed to celebrate Herschel's discovery of the planet Uranus. He is shown against a backdrop of the night sky showing the stars of the constellation of Gemini. It was in this area of the sky that Herschel made his famous discovery on the 13th March 1781. Famous overnight he was transformed from an obscure musician to a celebrity for uncovering the first new planet since Antiquity. Appointed royal astronomer by George III, he acknowledged his royal patron by naming the new planet, 'Georgium Sidus' (Georgian Star). Against his will the name was later dropped in favour of Uranus.

Details

Category:
Art
Object Number:
1958-174
Materials:
complete and paper
Measurements:
image: 242 mm x 197 mm
type:
print
taxonomy:
  • disciplines
  • disciplines
  • science
  • natural sciences
  • physical sciences
  • visual and verbal communication
  • print
  • visual and verbal communication
  • visual and verbal communication
credit:
Mrs C. Shorland

Cite this page

Rights

We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.


Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero


Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data

Download

Download catalogue entry as json

View manifest in IIIF viewer

Add to Animal Crossing Art Generator

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.