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The Mission of Mercy: Florence Nightingale receiving the Wounded at Scutari

1 of 2 portraits of Miss Tebbut

The Mission of Mercy: Florence Nightingale receiving the Wounded at Scutari, by Jerry Barrett, 1857 - NPG 6202 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

The Mission of Mercy: Florence Nightingale receiving the Wounded at Scutari

by Jerry Barrett
oil on canvas, 1857
55 1/2 in. x 83 3/4 in. (1410 mm x 2127 mm)
Purchased with help from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and The Art Fund, 1993
Primary Collection
NPG 6202


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Artistback to top

  • Jerry Barrett (1824-1906), Painter. Artist associated with 9 portraits, Sitter in 3 portraits.

Sittersback to top

This portraitback to top

Florence Nightingale, clearly highlighted in the centre of the group, is shown receiving casualties in the courtyard of the Barrack Hospital at Scutari, a suburb of Constantinople. Through the gateway can be seen more sick and wounded climbing up from a makeshift landing-stage on the Bosphorus and, in the distance, the gardens of the Seraglio and the Mosque of S. Sophia. Immediately to her left stand Selina and Charles Bracebridge, old friends who assisted her in her first nine months at Scutari and, next to them, Lord William Paulet, commander of British forces in the Bosphorus. Paulet's successor, General (later Sir Henry) Storks stands in the doorway on the extreme left of the painting alongside Dr. (later Sir William) Linton, one of the medical officers at the hospital. In front of them, holding a sunshade, is Alexis Soyer, former chef at the Reform Club who revolutionised dietary regimes at the Barrack Hospital. The stretcher-case in front of Florence Nightingale is tended to by one of her most loyal nurses, Mrs. Roberts, and Dr. Cruikshanks, a medical officer who was, in fact, resistant to Nightingale's changes. Behind him is Revd. Mother Mary Clare, another of her close allies, and next to her, the tall man in whiskers, Major Sillery, military commandant of the hospital at the time of Nightingale's arrival. The woman on the left next to Soyer is another nurse, Miss Tebbut and, near her, a boy drummer called Robert Robinson who ran errands for Florence Nightingale. The artist has included himself, looking down on the scene from the window.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG 2939a: Sketch of 'The Mission of Mercy: Florence Nightingale receiving the Wounded at Scutari' (sketch)
  • NPG 4305: Florence Nightingale receiving the Wounded at Scutari' (sketch)
  • NPG 2939: Florence Nightingale (study)
  • NPG D43044: Florence Nightingale at Scutari. A Mission of Mercy (after)

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