Sir Richard Owen
Sir Richard Owen
by Maull & Polyblank
albumen print, arched top, circa 1855
7 7/8 in. x 5 3/4 in. (200 mm x 146 mm)
Sitterback to top
- Sir Richard Owen (1804-1892), Naturalist, comparative anatomist and palaeontologist. Sitter in 35 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Maull & Polyblank (active 1854-1865), Photographers. Artist associated with 337 portraits.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Cooper, John, Great Britons: The Great Debate, 2002, p. 117 Read entry
Darwin was inhibited about promoting his ideas: he feared controversy would damage his social status, and he was a poor debater. He provided the intellectual ammunition and background support to expert scientific polemicists such as Joseph Hooker and, above all, Thomas Huxley who took the fight for natural selection into the lecture halls and learned societies, and into print. Huxley's ire was often directed at the powerful anti-Darwinian Richard Owen, hating his 'metaphorical mystifications' masquerading as science. Whenever possible Owen pulled rank over the younger Huxley, once assuming the title 'Professor' to give a series of lextures in Huxley's own School of Mines, thereby undermining his authority.
- Hamilton, Peter; Hargreaves, Roger, The Beautiful and the Damned: The Creation of Identity in Nineteenth Century Portrait Photography, 2001 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 6 June to 7 October 2001), p. 32,33
- Hart-Davis, Adam, Chain Reactions, 2000, p. 132
- Jeal, Tim; Calder, Angus; Driver, Felix; Cannizzo, Jeanne; Barringer, Tim; MacKenzie, John M., Livingstone: David Livingstone and the Victorian Encounter in Africa, 1996 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 22 March - 7 July 1996), p. 102
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 473
Placesback to top
- Place made: United Kingdom: England, London (photographers' studio, 55 Gracechurch Street, London)
Portrait setback to top
Events of 1855back to top
Current affairsPalmerston becomes Prime Minister, leading a coalition government after Lord Aberdeen loses a vote of confidence over his handling of the Crimean war. Known by the nickname 'Lord Pumicestone' for his abrasive style, Palmerston is the oldest prime minister in history to take up the post for the first time at the age of 71.
Stamp duty on newspapers is abolished, creating the mass media market in the UK as newspapers became more widely and cheaply available.
Art and scienceFollowing a trip through the Holy Land to the Dead Sea, William Holman Hunt begins his symbolically-laden painting The Scapegoat.
John Millais marries Effie Gray, previously John Ruskin's wife, after their marriage was annulled that year.
The social theorist and sociologist Herbert Spencer and philosopher G. H. Lewes, publishes Principles of Pyschology, exploring a physiological basis to psychology.
InternationalThe Fall of Sebastopol in the Crimean war, as Russia retreats, and the exhaustion of the Turkish alliance means the war nears its end. Despite being rebuffed by Florence Nightingale's team of nurses, Jamaican-born nurse Mary Seacole travels to the Crimea, opening a 'British Hotel' for sick and injured soldiers. She gains significant attention and praise for her nursing work.
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