by William Edward Kilburn
albumen carte-de-visite, (circa 1856)
3 1/2 in. x 2 1/4 in. (89 mm x 56 mm) image size
acquired Clive Holland, 1959
Sitterback to top
- Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), Reformer of hospital nursing and of the Army Medical Services. Sitter associated with 36 portraits.
Artistback to top
- William Edward Kilburn (1818-1891), Photographer. Artist associated with 70 portraits.
Related worksback to top
- NPG x139661: 'Upwards of five hundred photographic portraits of the most celebrated personages of the age' (after)
Linked publicationsback to top
- 100 Pioneering Women, p. 61 Read entry
The pioneering nurse, social and healthcare reformer Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) turned her back on a genteel English upbringing and on marriage as a woman’s vocation. Training instead as a nurse in Kaiserswerth and Paris, in 1853 she became superintendent of a London hospital for women. The following year, at the Scutari Barracks army field hospital in the Crimea, she reversed the insanitary and overcrowded conditions, thereby setting the standards for modern nursing. She introduced a system of medical records, facilitated by her study of maths as a child (her parents endorsing women’s education), led to her election as the first female member of the Royal Statistical Society, in 1858. After returning from Crimea, she called for women nurses in military hospitals, and in 1860 founded the Nightingale Home and Training School for Nurses, one of the first to teach nursing and midwifery as a formal profession. She also helped introduce professional nursing to workhouse infirmaries and envisioned a public healthcare system within a wider context of social welfare.
Placesback to top
- Place made: United Kingdom: England, London (photographer's studio, 222 Regent Street, London)
Events of 1856back to top
Current affairsQueen Victoria introduces the Victoria cross, an award for British soldiers who displayed exceptional valour in battle. Each medal was produced from Russian guns captured in the British war. In 2006, Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry became the first living recipient of the Victoria Cross since 1965, for his actions in the Iraq war.
Art and scienceThe National Portrait Gallery is founded by Philip Henry Stanhope, 5th Earl of Stanhope, Thomas Babington Macaulay, and Thomas Carlyle, all biographers and historians. Historical rather than artistic in focus, the Gallery's aim was to collect original portraits of outstanding figures from British history, notably from politics, the arts, literature and science.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning publishes her epic and autobiographical poem Aurora Leigh.
InternationalThe Treaty of Paris ends the Crimean war. Russia concedes to the Anglo-French-Austrian Four Points of August 1854 including the guarantee of Ottoman sovereignty and territorial integrity. Russia also agreed to a demilitarisation of the land islands in the Baltics, a term which lasted until the outbreak of the First World War.
Britain launches the second Opium war against China.
Recommended Exhibitions & displays
- Florence Nightingale at 200
Until 1 May
- BSL Tour: Florence Nightingale at 200
13 March, 19:30
- Gallery Tour: A History of British Versatility in Twelve Portraits
1 May, 18:00