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

3 of 6 portraits of Alexis Benoît Soyer

Sir William Lintonback to top

Linton: head-and-shoulders, full-face, wearing cap and uniform of a military physician, at extreme left, standing in doorway above Alexis Benoît Soyer and to the right of Sir Henry Knight Storks.When Jerry Barrett disembarked at Scutari in May 1856, presumably in some bewilderment, William Linton, who was in charge of Barrack Hospital, made him welcome; he gave the artist a room at the top of the hospital and remained supportive throughout his two-month visit. [1] Barrett has apparently rewarded Linton by placing him in a spotlit position in the hospital doorway at the left of the picture, looking straight ahead – the only official in the painting to directly engage with the viewer.

For Linton in groups related to Barrett’s Mission of Mercy see also NPG 2939a and NPG 4305.

Carol Blackett-Ord

Footnotesback to top

1) In July Barrett’s friend Henry Newman wrote from Scutari: ‘Jerry and I have done all that can be done [to persuade Nightingale to sit]; we have the sympathy and the assistance of the principal medical officer, Dr Linton’ (see [Newman] 1910, pp.543, 545). For information on Linton’s long experience in Crimea, from 1854 to 1856, see Shepherd 1991, vol.1, pp.38-39, passim.

Florence Nightingaleback to top

Nightingale: three-quarter length to front standing in centre of composition, almost profile left, wearing bonnet, left hand holding paper and right hand held down at side.