Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Gallery highlights role of Victorian nursing pioneers

  • 1 Comment

New research into those who pioneered social reform and made life-saving advances in medicine during the Victorian era has been published by the National Portrait Gallery.

Supported by Walgreens Boots Alliance, the research is part of a major online project exploring the work of important figures who led the way in clinical studies.

It includes newly-published visual biographies on among others nursing reformers Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole, said the gallery.

Other people featured include Havelock Ellis, who raised the profile of the scientific study of sexuality, and Frederick Treves, who helped the “Elephant Man” Joseph Merrill.

The new biographies in the Gallery’s Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue have also informed a new digital interactive timeline exploring the key people behind the pioneering medical advances of 1840-1920 – a resource aimed primarily at schools.

Featuring portraits from the gallery’s collection alongside images and historical objects from the Boots archive, the timeline lets viewers explore the people behind the remarkable clinical discoveries that transformed the lives of people at that time.

Dr Peter Funnell, the gallery’s curator of 19th century portraits and head of research, who led the project, said it provided the “first comprehensive pictorial and biographical account of pioneers in the field of medicine and health”. 


National Portrait Gallery

Source: © National Portrait Gallery, London

Florence Nightingale and Frances Parthenope, Lady Verney by William White (watercolour, circa 1836)

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Joseph Merrick, not Merrill !!

    In the film he was 'John' because the film was based on the report by the doctor who had incorrectly written down that his name was John.

    Give the poor bloke a break, eh?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.