Sir William Crookes(1832-1919), Chemist and science journalist
Sitter in 8 portraits
A chemist and physicist noted for his discovery of the element thallium and for his cathode-ray studies, fundamental in the development of atomic physics. Crookes studied at the Royal College of Chemistry, London. Soon after graduating he inherited a large fortune from his father after which he devoted himself entirely to scientific work at his private laboratory in London. His researches on electrical discharges through a rarefied gas led him to observe the dark space around the cathode, now called the Crookes dark space. In 1861 he discovered thallium, and during these studies he invented the radiometer, a device that has found numerous applications in the development of sensitive measuring instruments.
by Sir Leslie Ward
chromolithograph, published in Vanity Fair 21 May 1903
Watch our playlist exploring scientific techniques used by the Gallery to unlock the secrets behind our Tudor portraits.
Subjects and themes
Search the collection by themes - from pets to weddings!
Black History Month
Take a tour exploring our Collection created by Alayo Akinkugbe for Black History Month in 2020.
A Picture of Health
Learn about pioneers in medicine, health and social reform from 1840 to 1920.