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Sir Humphry Davy (1778–1829)

Photo credit: The Royal Institution

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Humphry Davy made his name in science experimenting with the effects of different gases before being appointed Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution (Ri), where he began to experiment with electro-chemistry. This was a very new and exciting branch of science, made possible by Alessandro Volta inventing the battery in the 1790s. In total between 1807 and 1814 Davy isolated or identified nine chemical elements including sodium and potassium.

The Royal Institution





oil on canvas


H 231.2 x W 141 cm

Accession number

RIIC 1546

Acquisition method

gift from James Young, 1889

Work type



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Normally on display at

The Royal Institution

21 Albermarle Street, London, Greater London W1S 4BS England

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