Picturing the immaterial in the Age of Industry: Mary Somerville and her artistic circles

Mary Somerville (1780–1872) made significant contributions to mathematics, astronomy, geology and meteorology. Her extensive and popular writing sought to uncover and conceptualise intangible and imperceptible forces such as climate.

Besides her scientific pursuits, Somerville was also a skilled landscape artist. Sarah Gould will explore how Somerville introduced fresh visual codes for picturing these boundless forces. This was especially crucial during the Industrial Revolution, when artists grappled with representing the transformed atmosphere they breathed.

After her death, Mary Somerville continued to inspire generations as the namesake of Somerville College, Oxford.

Programmed in collaboration with the Oxford Long Nineteenth Century Seminar.