Thomas Henry Huxley
Thomas Henry Huxley
by Marian Collier (née Huxley)
7 1/2 in. x 5 in. (191 mm x 127 mm)
Sitterback to top
- Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895), Biologist and science educationist. Sitter in 48 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Marian Collier (née Huxley) (1859-1887), Painter; first wife of John Collier. Artist of 6 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.
This portraitback to top
A key figure in Victorian scientific life, Thomas Henry Huxley made important discoveries in several branches of biology. He was a vigorous champion of Darwin and tended to antagonise moderate opinion by his abrasive style of speaking. Huxley worked tirelessly to improve scientific education and served on many Royal Commissions on education and public health. This portrait of him is by his daughter Marian who married the artist John Collier in 1879. Marion Collier studied at the Slade and, in the early 1880s, exhibited works at the Royal Academy and the Grosvenor Gallery. After the birth of a daughter the artist suffered from severe depression and in 1887 she caught pneumonia and died.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 324
Events of 1880back to top
Current affairsThe Liberals defeat the Conservatives, and Gladstone becomes Prime Minister for the second time, taking over from Disraeli, who retires from politics.
The MP for Northampton and atheist Charles Bradlaugh, refuses to swear on the Bible and so forfeits his right to take his seat. Despite having the support of Gladstone and J.S Mill, it takes six years before he can take his seat, after which he pushes through a new Oaths Act (1888).
Art and scienceThomas Huxley delivers his address 'Science and Culture' at the opening of Josiah Mason's science college in Birmingham (published the following year). Huxley argues that the study of modern literature, combined with knowledge of science, should be promoted in education above classical literature, echoing the claim made by the poet and critic Matthew Arnold. Huxley, an early advocate of 'Darwinism', did much to popularise evolutionary theory.
InternationalBuenos Aires finally becomes the permanent capital of Argentina, following sixty years of political debates around the issue. The city was federalised, politically separated from the Buenos Aires Province, and placed under direct control of the national government.
Despite allegations of vote buying, Cecil Rhodes is elected member of parliament for Barkly West in the Cape Colony, marking the start of his political career in South Africa.
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