A SURGICAL ARTIST AT WAR The Paintings and Sketches of Sir Charles Bell 1809-1815


There is a popular belief that the British army surgeons of the early nineteenth century were the worst exponents of a profession which itself was regarded as being permeated by men who, rather than being life-savers, were more akin to butchers. In this superb book we discover that army surgeons in Wellington’s army were highly skilled men, capable of performing very complicated operations on men who had suffered the sorts of wounds never seen by professional surgeons at home. These beautiful, though somewhat disturbing, watercolours demonstrate how difficult these operations – the majority of which were successful – often were. A Surgical Artist at War is a fine tribute to outstanding and dedicated men.