The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) was founded in 1791 and is the oldest veterinary teaching institution in the country. It has received donated paintings at various times in its history and these are split between its campuses in Camden and near Potters Bar in Hertfordshire. Portraits include royal patrons and the famous veterinary surgeon Charles Benoit Vial de Saint Bel. Vial was a Frenchman who had studied veterinary medicine in France and then made his way to London. He was asked to perform the autopsy of the famous racehorse 'Eclipse' so that an attempt could be made to understand why 'Eclipse' was so successful (he was unbeaten during his career). It was this autopsy that led to the founding of the London Veterinary College in 1791 with Vial as its first Principal. A painting of 'Eclipse' by Stubbs is held in the library of the Hertfordshire campus, the Veterinary Museum (The Royal Veterinary College).
Royal College Street, London, Greater London NW1 0TU England
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