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Dr Solander

1772
an unknown artist

copper-line engraving on paper (sheet: 21.4 cm x 12.5 cm, plate-mark: 10.5 cm x 10.0 cm)

Daniel Solander (1733-1782), naturalist, was a student of Carl Linnaeus, the Swede who devised and systemised the classification of plants and animals used today. Arriving in London from Sweden in 1760, Solander became a fellow of the Royal Society in 1764 and began cataloguing plants at the British Museum. Not long after, he became known to Joseph Banks, and in 1768 he and Banks together applied to the King to obtain berths on James Cook's Endeavour. Having barely survived the dysentery that killed many of the Endeavour's crew, Solander returned to England to be fêted along with Banks for his scientific achievements. When Banks withdrew from Cook's second voyage, Solander followed suit; the pair went to Iceland and the Western Isles before Solander settled into the role of Banks's librarian and curator in London. Though he produced some significant treatises - including the first scientific account of the kangaroo - he gained a reputation for partying at the expense of cataloguing specimens. He grew corpulent and became a target for satire, and his scientific achievements went largely unrecognised in his lifetime. The first book-length biography of Solander was published in 1998.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2009

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Daniel Solander (age 39 in 1772)

Subject professions

Science and technology

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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