COMING HOME: Florence Nightingale
3 March - 21 May 2020
Derby Museum, Derby
The Mission of Mercy: Florence Nightingale receiving the Wounded at Scutari
by Jerry Barrett
Florence Nightingale (1820–1910) is one of the most celebrated figures of the Victorian era and 2020 marks 200 years since her birth. Her pioneering care of sick and wounded soldiers during the Crimean War (1853–6) made her a national icon, with newspaper reports and contemporary poems calling her the ‘Lady with the Lamp’. She went on to campaign for public healthcare reform, supervise the modernisation of nursing, and advise governments on army health provision, sanitation improvements and hospital design.
Nightingale was born into a wealthy British family in Florence, Italy. Most of her growing up was done in England and she spent many summers at Lea Hurst, near Matlock in Derbyshire where the family had an estate. Although her career took her around Europe, she maintained close links with Derbyshire.
The Mission of Mercy shows Nightingale receiving casualties in the courtyard of the Barrack Hospital at Scutari, a suburb of present-day Istanbul, during the Crimean War.