Isambard Kingdom Brunel, English civil engineer, 1848.
© NRM / Pictorial Collection / Science & Society Picture Library
Oil painting by John Callcott Horsley showing Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859), inventor and civil engineer, at a table over which papers and plans are spread. On leaving school in 1822 he worked alongside his father Marc Isambard Brunel (1769-1849) on the construction of the Thames Tunnel. As chief engineer of the Great Western Railway (1833-1858), he designed many bridges and viaducts, including the Royal Albert Bridge in Cornwall and the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol. The famous steamships 'Great Western', the 'Great Britain' and the 'Great Eastern' were also conceived by him.