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William Hunter (1718–1783)

Photo credit: Royal College of Physicians, London

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William Hunter (1718–1783) was a Scottish-born anatomist, surgeon and midwife who became one of the great teachers and practitioners in London. He lectured on surgery and later anatomy, which became his chief interest. Hunter built up a busy practice and he was appointed physician-extraordinary to the Queen. His success enabled him to establish an anatomy school in London and he acquired a spacious house which included lecture theatres, an anatomy theatre and a museum. The latter came to hold an outstanding anatomical and pathological collection which was bequeathed to Glasgow University. Hunter was described by his contemporary, Dr Matthew Baillie, as ‘the best teacher of anatomy that ever lived’.

Royal College of Physicians, London





oil on canvas


H 77.5 x W 64.1 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift from Angela Oliver, 1972

Work type



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Normally on display at

Royal College of Physicians, London

11 St Andrew's Place, Regent's Park, London, Greater London NW1 4LE England

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