'Against images made by hands': Florence Nightingale's reluctant life in portraiture

Public history of science lecture by Natasha McEnroe

Florence Nightingale disliked having her portrait taken as much as she hated being a celebrity, yet it was largely through the visual representations of her face and person in the press that she gained iconic status in Victorian England. Used as a model by her artistic and adoring sister and cousin, sketches of the young Nightingale contrast sharply with the photographs and paintings of her later years, when the pressures of her work and ill health are very apparent. Representations of the idealised Angel of the Crimea tell as much about attitudes of her time as they do about the reality of her life. Natasha McEnroe will examine Nightingale’s life through a selection of images of her, and will consider whether they can shed some light on the controversy around the mysterious illness of her later years.

Natasha McEnroe is Director of the Florence Nightingale Museum.

'Against images made by hands': Florence Nightingale's reluctant life in portraiture 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK

Events coming up

  • The interaction of fire and mankind 14 September 2015 at The Royal Society, London Scientific discussion meeting organised by Professor Andrew Scott, Professor William Chaloner FRS, Professor Claire Belcher and Dr Chris Roos
  • The interaction of fire and mankind - further discussion 16 September 2015 at The Royal Society at Chicheley Hall, home of the Kavli Royal Society International Centre, Buckinghamshire Scientific discussion meeting organised by Professor Andrew Scott, Professor William Chaloner FRS, Dr Claire Belcher and Professor Chris Roos
  • Open House Weekend 2015 19 September 2015 at The Royal Society, London The Royal Society's building will be open to the public on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 September 2015.

For more events please see the events diary.