Sir Marc Isambard Brunel

1 portrait

Sir Marc Isambard Brunel, by Unknown photographer, circa 1845 - NPG P578 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir Marc Isambard Brunel

by Unknown photographer
daguerreotype, circa 1845
3 3/4 in. x 2 3/4 in. (95 mm x 70 mm)
Purchased, 1994
Primary Collection
NPG P578


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Brunel, a Frenchman, escaped in disguise during the French Revolution and went to America. He embarked upon a very successful engineering career in New York but could not forget a young English girl whom he had once met and in 1799 came to England to marry her. He remained in England where he improved the docks at Chatham and Liverpool before taking on his most important and difficult task, the Thames Tunnel from Rotherhithe to Wapping, constructed 1825--43 with the help of his son, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. This is probably the only photograph of the sitter and, as a daguerreotype, is a unique image.

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