Views & Reviews Medical Classics

Acts of Mercy

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 12 August 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4349
  1. Colin Martin, independent consultant in healthcare communication, London
  1. cmpubrel{at}

    A photograph, taken in 1930, shows smiling nurses watching workmen removing a pair of paintings by Frederick Cayley Robinson (1862-1927) from Middlesex Hospital, before its demolition. In 1912 a governor and benefactor of the hospital, Edmund Davis, commissioned Cayley Robinson to paint four large pictures for the imposing entrance hall of James Paine’s 18th century building. The allegorical subjects of the series, “Acts of Mercy,” derive from Christian teachings, which include attending the sick and feeding the hungry.

    The Middlesex Hospital entrance with one of the Doctor paintings from Frederick Cayley Robinson’s “Acts of Mercy” series being moved during building works, 1930

    University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

    Cayley Robinson’s first pair, Orphans, was completed in 1915. …

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