Here’s a recent portrait of Hooke by painter Rita Greer. No original portrait exists (perhaps because Newton had it destroyed!) so the artist had to go by descriptions of his appearance to produce this credible image. You can listen to a 5 minute discussion on BBC Radio4 Today with historian of Science Dr Allan Chapman and the artist Rita Greer.

Robert Hooke was born in Freshwater on the Isle of Wight, England in 1635 the son a Church of England clergyman (Church of All Saints, Freshwater). Sometimes described as an English Leonardo da Vinci, Hooke’s achievements are astonishing. He made seminal contributions across the Sciences – I’m sure everyone remembers studying Hooke’s Law at school, as well as being a noted Surveyor and Architect.  This is his remarkable drawing of a flea, which apparently is a two page spread (over a foot long) in his famous Micrographia, described by Samuel Pepys as “the most ingenious book that I ever read in my life.”

A half hour BBC radio discussion on his life can be accessed from this link (definitely worth a listen).

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