Foley shows Faraday with his famous electro-magnetic induction ring in one hand, while his other hand is raised as if he is in the midst of explaining it. The statue stands imposingly at the foot of the institution's main staircase (with its splendid ironwork), as if to welcome visitors.
Faraday was very closely associated with the Royal Institution. He was first appointed as laboratory assistant there in 1813, became director of the laboratory in 1825, and Fullerian Professor of Chemistry there from 1833 to 1867. It was here that he conducted his electricity experiments; as superintendent of the institution, he also lived in a flat there with his wife Sarah, until the couple were given a house near Hampton Court in 1858. Although under no obligation to lecture, he was in fact "a gifted lecturer," who, for example, delivered his friend Charles Wheatstone's lectures for him because Wheatstone himself was too shy.
Faraday's popular science lectures at the institution were truly popular, and with these and his Christmas lectures for young people he "renewed the fortunes of the Institution" (Ellis 128-29). The tradition he established there continues to this day with the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, which are broadcast on television annually. The basement of the Royal Institution now houses a Faraday museum.
Ellis, Roger. Who's Who in Victorian Britain. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1997.