'Huxley', c 1865.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A carte-de-visite portrait of Professor Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895), taken at Sawyer's Italian Studios, Norwich. Through his 'organic evolution' lectures, Huxley championed Charles Darwin's controversial theories. He liked to refer to himself as 'Darwin's bulldog'. Whilst working as a surgeon on board HMS Rattlesnake in Australasia, Huxley spent his spare time studying marine life. His research on jellyfish brought him recognition by the Royal Society of London. Once in Britain, he became Professor of Natural History at the Government School of Mines in 1855, and was an authority on fossils. A carte-de-visite is a photograph mounted on a piece of card the size of a formal visiting card of the 1850s - hence the name. The format was introduced by the French photographer Andre-Adolphe-Eugene Disderi (1819-1889) in 1854.