Edith Cavell(1865-1915), Nurse
Sitter in 7 portraits
Born and educated in Norfolk within a family with strong religious beliefs, Cavell worked as a governess in Essex and Brussels. After returning to England to help care for her ill father, she trained as a nurse and by 1907 became the matron of a nurse's training school in Brussels; this school revolutionised nursing and saw it transformed into a serious profession. When the Germans invaded Belgium in 1914 Cavell began to assist in the escape of allied soldiers, with the school becoming a crucial part of the resistance network; spies and informers became suspicious and she was arrested after aiding the escape of at least 200 men; she confessed and was executed by firing squad at dawn on 12 October, 1915.
by Unknown photographer
bromide press print, 1909-1910
by Unknown photographer, after Carrey
halftone postcard print, 1915
View a wide collection of video content on our YouTube channel from past projects to our latest films.
Artist and sitter interviews
Get insights into creating portraiture from BP Portrait Award 2020 artists and their sitters.
Watch our film created to say ‘goodbye’ to the Gallery before we closed for our major transformation project.