Lord Kelvin in Watercolour

Lord Kelvin by Jemima Blackburn-crop

(Click to enlarge)

In December last year we were contacted by a distant relation of Professor Hugh Blackburn, professor of Mathematics at the University 1849-1879, who is in possession of a very charming and unusual image of Lord Kelvin.

The relation kindly gave us permission to use the image for Lord Kelvin’s University Story profile and told us its history:

The watercolour was painted by Jemima Blackburn (1823-1909), the wife of Professor Blackburn, and is dated 31st August 1851. The label on the back is inscribed “William Thomson teaching Projection to William Blackburn” and depicts a 27 year old Kelvin teaching the child of Jemima and Hugh Blackburn physics while at the beach. I particularly like the little crab in the foreground!

picture label-crop

Painting label

We thought we’d share the image today, 163 years after it was painted!

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