Art UK has updated its cookies policy. By using this website you are agreeing to the use of cookies. To find out more read our updated Use of Cookies policy and our updated Privacy policy.

Dr John Ash (1723–1798)

Photo credit: Birmingham Museums Trust/David Bailey

How you can use this image

© All rights reserved

All images on Art UK are protected by copyright and image permissions vary across the Art UK website. Please check individual artwork pages for information about permitted use.

This image can be used for non-commercial research or private study purposes, and other UK exceptions to copyright permitted to users based in the United Kingdom under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

Some images on Art UK are available to purchase as prints and may be available to license for commercial purposes through the Art UK Shop.

For all other types of use please contact the owning collection. Their website may have more information about permitted uses and licensing.


Add or edit a note on this artwork that only you can see. You can find notes again by going to the ‘Notes’ section of your account.

Dr John Ash was an eminent Birmingham physician and a co-founder of the Birmingham General Hospital, ‘for the relief of the sick and lame’. Ash was personally responsible for the planning of the building in which he served as senior physician from 1779 to 1787. The painting is arguably Reynolds’ most elaborate and successful full-length institutional portrait. Ash is shown in the gown of a Doctor of Medicine worn over a black velvet suit with formal cravat and a powdered wig with rigid side curls of the kind that were already old-fashioned by the late 1780s.

Birmingham Museums Trust

Art UK Founder Partner

More information




oil on canvas


H 241 x W 147 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

commissioned by the governors of Birmingham General Hospital in honour of the sitter’s services to the people of Birmingham; purchased with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Art Fund, Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery Development Trust, the Public Picture Gallery Fund, the Friends of Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery, W. A. Cadbury Charitable Trust, Feeney Charitable Trust and the public

Work type