This painting is part of a series depicting scientific apparatus on display in the Royal Institution’s museum. The apparatus shown is known as Faraday’s electric egg, which he used to show that there existed uniquely characteristic relations between matter, electricity and light. The ‘egg’ is made of glass and has valves at the top and bottom to suck out the air and make the space within as close to a vacuum as possible. The metal rods inside are then connected to a source of electricity and if the voltage is high enough an ‘electric discharge’ is seen between the two balls on the ends.
An image of this formed the basis for the design of the stamp issued in 1991 to mark the 200th anniversary of Faraday’s birth.
Where to see this painting?
The Royal Institution
Not all paintings are on display. If you want to see a particular painting, please contact the collection