Robert Short with his 'stone'

Made:
1820 in London
artist:
William Richardson

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Copy photograph. Portrait of Robert Short
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Portrait: Robert Short (1714- ?), Medical curiosity, plate from ... Remarkable Persons ...by James Caulfield [1820 edition], engraved by William Richardson. Print, engraving 23x14.5cm. Portrait, HL to R, standing by table, on which features the large stone extracted from him by surgery

Robert Short (1714-?) was regarded as a medical curiosity. He is pictured here with an abnormally large stone (a hard mass formed in the body) that was surgically removed at St Thomas’ Hospital. From childhood and into adulthood he experienced such stones, but his family and friends could not afford the cost of surgery and had to appeal to charity. When a stone was eventually removed from his body it measured more than 20 cm in diameter. The case was believed to be so extraordinary “that a portrait of the man was engraved with an exact representation of the stone”. This account can be found in James Caulfield’s 'Portraits, Memoirs, and Characters of Remarkable Persons from the Revolution in 1688 to the reign of George II', vol 4, (London, 1820), p158.

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Details

Category:
Art
Object Number:
1987-67
type:
print
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • visual and verbal communication
  • visual and verbal communication
  • print
credit:
Watkins, R.G.

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