Edward Lear and the Scientists

Introduction to the Edward Lear exhibition (3 mins).

Edward Lear (1812-1888) is best known for his nonsense poetry, including The Owl and the Pussycat, but he began his career as a scientific illustrator. He used his considerable artistic talent to illustrate the works of ten Fellows of the Royal Society, including William Buckland, Thomas Bell, John Gould, and William Jardine.

This collection of images showcases some of the illustrations that Lear produced. Click on the image captions below to see larger versions.

Licenses to reproduce these images may be purchased from our picture library.

Visiting the exhibition

Venue: The Royal Society, London
Price: Free to attend.
Dates: Wed 29 Aug to Fri 26 Oct 2012

Visiting times
The exhibition is open on Mondays to Fridays from 10am - 5pm. To arrange a visit please call +44 (0)20 7451 2606 or email .

Special weekend opening
The exhibition will also be open on Sat 22 and Sun 23 Sep 2012, when the Royal Society participates in Open House Weekend 2012. No appointment is necessary for visits during this weekend.

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