Artefact of the month - July 2007
Oil painting of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, founder and first President of ZSL, by James Lonsdale, 1817.
This painting hangs in the Council Room in ZSL's Main Offices in Regent's Park. It has recently undergone restoration.
The subject is Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles. Born in 1781, Raffles had an adventurous life: he was Lieutenant-Govenor of Java, founded Singapore, and had the enormous, foul smelling, rarely flowering plant Rafflesia arnoldi named after him.
On his return to England, Raffles set up the Zoological Society of London in 1826, becoming its first President. Sadly he died unexpectedly the same year.
The portrait was painted in 1817 by James Lonsdale (1777-1839) and was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1818. It was presented to ZSL in 1946 by Mr A Spencer Moore.
The book shown in the painting is the History of Java written by Raffles - a copy of which can be found in ZSL Library.
Have a look at ZSL Library's online catalogue for books about Raffles
The Michael Marks Trust has provided funding for the cataloguing of the artworks in ZSL's collections. An online catalogue to the artworks can be searched from the above link, use the `Search artworks’ button on the sidebar once you have entered the catalogue. Please note that some artworks are catalogued as collections, not individually.
Similarly the emerging catalogue of ZSL archives can be searched using the 'Search Archives' button on the sidebar.