Title A surgical operation. Oil painting by Reginald Brill, 1934-1935.
Imprint 1934-1935.



Access Location Shelfmark Availability
 Online request  On Exhibition  Claret Wall Display, Wellcome Library, 12 May 2014 - 12 May 2019  DUE 15-01-20
Physical description 1 painting : oil on canvas ; approximately 205 x 160 cm
Note On the reverse of the canvas is an unfinished painting in horizontal format of figures in a rowing boat with barrels of fruit (?)
Credits Reginald Brill trained at the Slade School, University College London, and as a Rome scholar at the British School in Rome. From about 1938 to about 1963 he was Principal of Kingston School of Art, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey
References Phœnix Gallery, Lavenham, "Works of Reginald Brill", [1974], no. 68, "Operation", 100 gns
Heritage Museum and Kingston Polytechnic, Kingston upon Thames, "Reginald Brill 1902-1974: artist and teacher", invitation to private view of exhibition, 8-30 November 1985, reproduced
Arts review, 1985, special supplement to accompany and supplement the Brill exhibition at Kingston upon Thames
Times Higher Education Supplement, 8 November 1985, front page, reproduced
Sotheby's catalogue, 9 November 1988, reproduced in colour
Fiona James, "A few thoughts on the painting of the operation in the Wellcome Library Reading Room", Friends of the Wellcome Institute Newsletter, January 1994, no. 3, pp. 5-6, reproduced
Judith Bumpus, Reginald Brill, Aldershot and Kingston-upon-Thames 1999, pp. 19-20, pl. 28
Lettering note Painter's initials and date on gable of building in background
Summary Around the operating table are six figures in white surgical gowns: in the foreground, an anaesthetist holding a bottle; two male surgeons performing the operation; a woman who passes an instrument to one of the operators; and two other women. The two operators and two of the women wear masks. One of the men and one of the women wear pink gloves. Through the window behind are shown a parapet of the hospital building, and another building beyond
One painting in a series about the human condition called The martyrdom of man. Another painting in the series is in Tate Britain, London
Cite as Wellcome Library no. 11628i
Reproduction conditions Copyright in the painting is held by the Trustee of the Wellcome Trust as from August 1993 (Wellcome Institute Library accession no. 349232)
Note One in a series of large paintings called "The martyrdom of man", showing people at work: others in the series show construction workers (painting in Tate Britain) and jurors.
Lettering RB 1934/35
Author, etc. Brill, Reginald, 1902-1974.
Topic-LCSH Operations, Surgical.
Genre/Technique Oil paintings.
Copy photo no. L 22440
L 22472
System no. .b11597380
Record no. 11628i