John Monro (1715–1791) worked at London’s Bethlem Hospital and devoted his practice to the treatment of insanity, gaining greater eminence and success than any of his contemporaries in the field. In 1783, while he was still in full practice, he survived an attack of paralysis, and his work at Bethlem was gradually taken over by his son, Dr Thomas Monro.
John Monro had a passion for the arts, and built a considerable collection of books and engravings. He studied the early history of engraving, and enjoyed the works of Horace and Shakespeare. This portrait was painted by the English portrait painter, and later politician, Nathaniel Dance-Holland. Dance-Holland also painted George III and Captain James Cook, and was a founder member of the Royal Academy of Art in 1768. The portrait was given to the Royal College of Physicians by Dr Monro’s great-grandson, Dr Henry Monro, a fellow of the RCP.
Where to see this painting?
Royal College of Physicians, London
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