This enormous depiction of the moon, over 5ft in diameter, was completed in 1795 by the celebrated portrait artist John Russell (1745–1806).
Russell was particularly noted for his skill in pastel and made his own crayons, achieving a variety of nuanced colours by blending just 14 pigments. While portraits dominated his public work, Russell’s private efforts were dedicated to systematic astronomical sketches of the moon over a 30-year period
How it works
These short films bring to life a selection of working scientific instruments from the Museum's collection. All are on permanent display, but for conservation reasons would not normally be handled or demonstrated in public.