Edward Forbes

1 portrait

Edward Forbes, by Leonard Charles Wyon, after a bust by  John Graham Lough, (1856) - NPG 1609 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Edward Forbes

by Leonard Charles Wyon, after a bust by John Graham Lough
bronze medal, (1856)
2 in. (51 mm) diameter
Given by Joanna B. Horner, 1911
Primary Collection
NPG 1609


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Sitterback to top

Artistsback to top

  • John Graham Lough (1798-1876). Artist associated with 3 portraits.
  • Leonard Charles Wyon (1826-1891), Die-engraver and medallist. Artist associated with 9 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.

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The idea for this memorial prize medal, depicting the naturalist Edward Forbes, originated at a meeting of his friends following his death, according to a report in the Gentlemen's Magazine in February 1855. The medal was to be awarded to the most distinguished student in natural history in the Government School of Mines. It is inscribed on the reverse, 'NATURAE ACER INVESTIGATOR ET DILIGENS' (meaning 'a studious inquirer into the secrets of nature', a variation on a passage in Cicero's Timaeus). Forbes' friends also decided to commission a marble bust from John Graham Lough, completed in 1856 and now in the Geological Museum, London. The profile portrait on the medal is taken from this bust. Forbes was a friend of the father of the donor of this medal, the author, Joanna B. Horner.

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