Tag Archives: Bethlem Royal Hospital

John Francis Hall-Edwards—a radiology pioneer

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, UK   Hall-Edwards (Courtesy of The Library of Birmingham Archives) John Francis Hall-Edwards was born on 19 December 1858 in the Kings Norton area of Birmingham, United Kingdom. He was educated at King Edwards School in Birmingham followed by Queen’s College, Birmingham where he studied medicine and was an apprentice to […]

Richard Dadd: art and madness

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Portrait of British painter Richard Dadd (1817-1886) showing painting Contradiction: Oberon and Titania. Henry Hering. circa 1856. Source Unknown. Public Domain due to age. Is there anything so extravagant as the imaginations of men’s brains? Where is the head that has no chimeras in it? . . . Our knowledge, […]

Mental illness in art

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Corridor in the Asylum. Vincent can Gogh. 1889. Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is often said that creative art is linked to eccentricity, sometimes bordering on madness. Examples abound of great musicians, writers, and artists who at some time in their lives were deranged and often committed to institutions for […]

Longitudinal lunacy: Science and madness in the eighteenth century

Richard de Grijs Sydney, Australia Daniel Vuillermin Beijing, China   Interior of Bethlem Royal Hospital, from A Rake’s Progress by William Hogarth. The poor soul in the background is trying to solve the longitude problem. “A couple of young Non conformist preachers from Worksop in the North of Derbyshire came thither to have my approbation […]