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Product details Surrey Institution
This hand-coloured aquatint shows a scientific lecture in the Rotunda of the Surrey Institution. This operated from 1808 to 1823 in a building on Blackfriars Road on the south side of the Thames that had previously housed the Leverian Museum. Modelled on the successful Royal Institution of Great Britain, it aimed to disseminate scientific and literary knowledge to a wider public. The print shows a very full audience, a significant proportion of which is made up of women. A pencil annotation identifies the speaker as Humphry Davy (1778-1829) lecturing on mining. However, Davy, professor of chemistry at the Royal Institution, never lectured at the Surrey Institution and the print in fact depicts Frederick Accum (1769-1838) during one of his chemistry lecture courses. The museum holds a portrait engraving of Accum dated 1820 (PAJ 3968). This print was published as Plate 81 in W. H. Pyne and W. Combe, 'The Microcosm of London', 3 vols (R. Ackermann: London, 1808-11).
Original size: 265 mm x 322 mm
- Image ref: L1071
- National Maritime Museum