Search the Collection

Henry Cavendish (1731-1810), Physicist

Sitter in 4 portraits
Henry Cavendish was the outstanding natural philosopher of his time. A retiring young man, he joined the Royal Society in 1758. He was elected a Fellow shortly thereafter and joined the Society's dining club. He was profoundly respected by his contemporaries in the Society and was elected to its Council in 1765. In 1764 he started conducting scientific experiments and his first paper was published two years later. These experiments covered many areas of physics, chemistry and electrical forces and many remained unpublished during his lifetime. He discovered the constitutions of water and air and is credited with the earliest accurate calculation of the force of gravity.

List Thumbnail


Men of Science Living in 1807-8

by Sir John Gilbert, and Frederick John Skill, and William Walker, and Elizabeth Walker (née Reynolds)
pencil and wash, 1858-1862
NPG 1075


Engraving after 'Men of Science Living in 1807-8'

by George Zobel, and William Walker
engraving, 1862
NPG 1075a


Henry Cavendish

probably by Christian Rosenberg, published by John Weale, after William Alexander
aquatint, early 19th century
NPG D16591