Catalogue description PORTRAITS

This record is held by Royal College of Physicians of London

Details of Portrait
Reference: Portrait

Portraits and items of individuals associated with medicine

Date: C16th - C20th
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Sir Eliab Harvey, MP 1635-1698/9


Born St Laurence Pountney 1635, and educated at Merchant Taylors School.


Knighted in 1660, JP and Deputy-Lieutenant for the county of Essex. Was MP for the county from 1678-9; then, for Old Sarum, Wilts. 1679-81, and for Maldon, Essex 1693-8.


Sir Eliab Harvey


Oils on canvas, 49¾ by 39½ inches, by an unknown artist, 1675


Three-quarter length standing to left, holding brown drapery to chest, his gloved left hand by his side: brown eyebrows, brown eyes, long nose curving downwards, thick lips parted, double chin; mid brown wig parted in centre, touching shoulders, white shirt with broad lace cravat and cuffs, grey velvet coat; crimson silk curtains parted top left, base of column on left on which are the remains of an inscription now very rubbed: Eliab Harvey / / presumably incorporated in the more recent inscription, bottom left: Sir Eliab Harvey Knt Aetalis 40. AD 1675. Lit from the right.


Property of the Harveian Society of London: on loan to the College. November 1968. From the collection of Sir Francis Whitmore, Orsett Hall, Romford: anonymous property. Christies, 11 December 1964. lot 54. with the portrait of Lady Harvey sec next entry.


This and the companion portrait of Lady Harvey have been incorrectly ascribed to Kneller. They are by a less able hand or hands capable of attractive landscape painting, but weak in figure drawing, and stemming rather from the Lely workshop. It does not seem possible to get closer. A portrait of this Eliab Harvey, or of Eliab. William Harvey's brother, was in the Harvey family collection at Rolls Park, where recorded by Neale. He also appears in the family group of William and Mary Harvey and their three sons.


Ref: J.P. Neale, Viewes of the seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen, 2nd series. III. 1826.


Returned to the Harveian Society - Dec 1993


Lady Dorothy Harvey 1638-1725/6


(Date of birth on portrait almost certainly wrong)


Third daughter of Sir Thomas Whitmore, (1st) Bt. - of Shropshire (not to be confused with Sir Thomas Whitmore KB. husband of Anne Whitmore).


Married Sir Eliab Harvey at St Giles-in-the-Fields 1658.


Lady Dorothy Harvey


Oils on canvas, 49 by 29 inches, by an unknown artist, 1675-


Nearly whole length seated to right in landscape, and resting her head on her left hand, right hand in lap; curly brown hair, parted in centre, flat on top, a long ringlet falling on either side, deep blue eyes, light brown eyebrows, downward curving nose, full lower lip, slightly pink complexion; single string of pearls at throat, low-cut orange dress, fastened in front with five buckles (?) each of two pearls and a black diamond, similar decoration round her right shoulder, purple drapery: background of rocks and foliage: a distant landscape on right under cloudy pink sky. Inscribed bottom left, in yellow: Dorothy Harvey / suae (?) AEtalis 33 No. 1675 and in a more recent hand on right: Daughter of Sir Thomas Whitmore Bt Born 1648.


Property of the Harveian Society of London: loan to the College. November 1968. Like the companion portrait of her husband from the collection of Sir Francis Whitmore. of Orsett Hall. Romford whose ancestor Sir William Whitmore. 2nd bart. 1627-1699 married the sitter's daughter Mary: Christies, 11 December 1964. lot 54, with the portrait of Sir Eliab Harvey, anonymous property.


Ref: Burke, Landed Gentry. 1952 pp. 2705-06.


Returned to the Harveian Society - Dec 1993


Anne (Lady) Whitmore d. 1775


Wife of Sir Thomas Whitmore KB.


Oils on canvas, 503/8 by 401/8 inches, by Edward Penny, 1757


Nearly whole length, seated to left, but looking towards spectator, her right wrist on table her left hand in lap; dark brown eyebrows, blue eyes, dark brown hair dressed with pearls, short lips, fresh complexion; golden half-sleeved dress with white lace collar and cuffs, two rows of pearls at bosom and four on her left wrist; tall blue-upholstered chair, blue curtain and tassel on left, plain background. Signed, or inscribed, and dated bottom left; E.Penny Pinx. 1757.


Inscribed top right, the inscription now rather illegible:


Ann[e?] Wife to St Tho. Whitmore/Eldest Daughter to St Jonathan Cope Bart. / AEtalis Suae 39 E Penn[e?]y pinx 17 [57?]


Property of the Harveian Society of London, lent to the College November 1968.


Anonymous property, Christies 11 December 1964. lot 53. bt. Agnew, as Anne, wife of Sir Thomas Whitmore. K.B., daughter of Sir Jonathan Cope of Brewern, aged 39. A portrait of Sir Thomas's sister Catherine, also by Penny (misread Penner in the sale catalogue) was the previous lot. The portraits of Sir Eliab and Lady Harvey, above, also bought Agnew, were lot 54 of the sale.


Ref. Correspondence, Harveian Society 1 and 6 November 1968.


Returned to the Harveian Society, Dec. 1993


Sir William James Erasmus Wilson 1809-84


Known as Erasmus Wilson, he was born in Marylebone, London.


In 1836 he established Sydenham College, a school of anatomy, which, however, failed. He was himself a skilful draughtsman and his anatomical sketches were very fine. On the advice of a colleague, sometime around 1840, he switched from anatomy and physiology to dermatology. Dermatology was then a virtually untried area of medicine. Erasmus was to become extremely successful and the money he made he invested cleverly so that he ended up a very rich man - he left some £200,000 at his death. It is said that he knew more about diseases of the skin than any of his contemporaries. To broaden his knowledge on the subject, he travelled extensively, as far as Ethiopia.


There are three outstanding things, among many, that he did with his money: (1) he founded in 1870 a Chair of Dermatology at the Royal College of Surgeons, which he was the first to occupy; (2) he paid some £10,000 for the transportation of Cleopatra's Needle to London in 1877; and (3) he established the Erasmus Wilson Professorship of Pathology at Aberdeen University in 1881 in his father's memory. He was clearly an unusually generous man and his benefactions were numerous and varied.


Wilson became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1843 and in 1881 was elected President. The RCS benefited substantially from his generosity: not only did he establish the Chair of Dermatology and, in addition, donate his collection of anatomical specimens, drawings, etc., but the bulk of his fortune went to the College after his wife's death; (they had no children).


In 1857 he saved the life of a would-be suicide who tried to drown herself and was awarded the Royal Humane Society's silver medal.


To Erasmus Wilson is given the credit for popularizing the bath among the middle - and upper-classes


At one stage in his career, he was asked to give evidence in the case of a man who had apparently died from the injuries inflicted by a regimental flogging. Wilson confirmed that this was the cause of the man's death and, after ten adjournments, the jury supported him by bringing in a verdict to that effect. A Parliamentary enquiry followed and this in turn led to the abolition of flogging in the army.


Oils on canvas, now 30 by 25 inches, (?) by Stephen Pearce of c. 1872


Short half length to left, head turned towards spectator: curly grey hair and side whiskers, grey eyebrows, blue eyes, fresh complexion: white collar and shirt, loosely tied black bow, black coat, black gown with crimson edges: a beige-covered table ? bottom left: plain brown background, a window extreme left: lit from the right.


Property of the British Association of Dermatology, on loan to the College July 1963.


Pearce wrote that he painted three portraits of Wilson in his robes as Professor of Dermatology. The sitter was an old friend whom he had known since 1852 or 3. He exhibited one at the R.A. in 1873. Three versions are known at present: that in the Middlesex Hospital: that on loan to the College which measured 50 by 40 inches when in the London art trade in 1962 before its purchase by the British Association of Dermatology: and a copy by John Lewis Reilly also 50 by 40 inches, presented to the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1898. An engraving of the type by Alexander Scott. R.A.. 1873 (1302) was published by Graves in 1873. Wilson was also painted by J. Andrews R.A.. 1854 (1129). A marble bust by Thomas Brock was commissioned by the Royal College of Surgeons. May 1885 and completed 1888. Brock also was responsible for the bronze statue erected in front of the Margate Infirmary 1886, of which like the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the sitter had been a benefactor.


Ref: R.A. catalogues 1854 (1129): 1872 (431) : 1873 (1302) : 1885 (2042), an unidentified marble; 1886 (1772), the Margate bronze : 1888 (1969, the R.C.S. marble) ; S. Pearce, Memories of the Past. 1903, pp. 85-87: W. LeFanu. 1960, p. 76; al. from the British Association of Dermatology, 6 July 1963.


Transferred to the British Association of Dermatology, Jan. 1997

Held by: Royal College of Physicians of London, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Royal College of Physicians

Physical description: 244 items

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