Le Marchand des Lunettes, Isadore Stanislas Helman after Jean Baptiste Le Prince, 1776

Half marathon notice

Visitor notice: On Sunday 4 March Cutty Sark and the museum car park will be closed for the Vitality Big Half Marathon. All other museums will be open as normal and DLR and rail links will be running. Find out about road closures

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Queen's House

Helman’s print after a painting by Le Prince shows the extent to which star gazing could become impolite and risqué in the 18th century. Although an activity encouraged between men and women, it also offered the possibility for intrigue after dark.

Here an elderly astronomer gazes intently out of the window, while shopping for a new telescope. So intent is he on looking out at the sky that he is oblivious to his young wife more interested in the shopkeeper than in her husband or his astronomical interests.

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