AN EXPERIMENT ON A BIRD IN THE AIR PUMP
JOSEPH WRIGHT 'OF DERBY' 1768
With thanks to the National Gallery for the image.I spent an afternoon last weekend looking round the London Original Print Fair at the Royal Academy , I went with my blog curator's hat scouting the whole place forthe best art of science image. My number one find was a black and white print depicting the original oil painting by Joseph Wright 'of Derby' in the National Gallery.
In the painting we can see a scientist demonstrating the formation of a vacuum by withdrawing air from a flask in which he has placed a bird.
Without oxygen the bird is going to die.
Robert Boyle invented the air pump with the help of Robert Hooke, in Oxford in around 1656.
Here is a picture I found to show you his invention:
In 1660 Boyle and eleven other scientists formed the Royal Society to share scietific knowledge amongst scientists.