Title: Portrait of William Buckland

Creator: Attributed to Richard Ansdell

Description: Painting of William Buckland. Elected a Member of the Geological Society on 19 March 1813 (no.241). Served as President between 1824-1826, where during his tenure the Society was granted its Royal Charter which allowed it to bestow Fellowships.

Buckland was Professor of Mineralogy at the University of Oxford from 1813 and became its first Reader in Geology in 1818. Although principally a scientist, Buckland was ordained in 1808 and spent many years attempting to reconcile his religious faith with the geological evidence before him – particularly in relation to Noah’s Flood.

In the field, Buckland notoriously dressed in a rather eccentric manner, always wearing his academic gown and carrying a large blue bag from which he would draw out his latest finds such as fossil faeces of giant marine reptiles. Also, as a keen zoologist, it was his habit to eat his way through the animal kingdom, often serving such unexpected delicacies as crocodile or bluebottle to his dinner guests.

His wife was the natural history artist and geological curator Mary Buckland née Morland (1797-1857).

The painting was purchased by the Geological Society from Mrs Gordon, Buckland’s daughter, for 11 guineas in 1895.

Date: c.1843

Format: Oil painting in frame, 36 x 23 cm

Archive reference: GSL/POR/4

Image reference: 01-04

Recommended print size: Up to 16 x 12 inches (40 x 30cm)

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