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Pastel drawing of the moon, completed in 1795

The artist John Russell R.A. was a specialist in crayon portraits. He became Painter to George III and was London's leading pastellist of the late 18th century. However, he was also a dedicated and enthusiastic astronomer. He concentrated his efforts on the moon, working tirelessly to make an accurate record of the lunar surface.

Russell's telescopic observations and measurements were kept in a detailed sketchbook and form the basis not only for this giant pastel but for published engravings of the moon. An example of his printed moon globe, the Selenographia of 1797, is displayed in the entrance gallery.

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