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Sir Humphry Davy, Bt

12 of 26 portraits on display in Room 18 at the National Portrait Gallery

Sir Humphry Davy, Bt, by Henry Howard, 1803 - NPG 4591 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir Humphry Davy, Bt

by Henry Howard
oil on canvas, 1803
50 1/2 in. x 40 1/2 in. (1283 mm x 1029 mm)
Purchased, 1967
Primary Collection
NPG 4591

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  • Henry Howard (1769-1847), Painter. Artist associated with 28 portraits, Sitter in 3 portraits.

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Davy was a close friend of Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey and from them he absorbed the concept of 'Romantic genius' to which he aspired. With good looks and entrepreneurial flair, He was one of a new breed of celebrity scientists whose experiments, at the newly established Royal Institution, were so charismatic that they became social events. Witnessing these, Mary Shelley took Davy as the model for Dr Frankenstein the scientist who holds the terrifying secret of life-giving power.

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