Three quarter length, seated potrait, sitter looking left, wearing black and gold robe with a globe behind.
The artist, who was chosen by the sitter, has captured the tone of this energetic man. The figure seems more immaediate because the upholstered arm of the chair upon which he sits is made to appear as if it breaks the picture plane. A globe in the middle distance refers to Appleton's interest in the atmosphere and his won pioneering work on long distance radio transmission. The artist captures personality but the painting is flawed by uncertain spatial definition and a dull, flat palette. Exhibited at the RSA, May 1958, No. 84.
Before becoming Principal and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Edinburgh in 1949, he was already an eminent physicist who had carried out pioneering research on radio waves and nuclear technology, which enabled him to play key roles in both World Wars.