William Hogarth Staircase

The Great Hall on the first floor of the North Wing of St Bartholomew's Hospital in London "is approached by the Grand Staircase. Wishing to have a spectacular entrance, the governors had considered inviting the Venetian painter, Jacopo Amigoni, to decorate the staircase walls. However, William Hogarth (1697-1764) learned of the governors' intention and offered his own services free of charge. Well-known at the time for his paintings and engravings, usually with a moral message, Hogarth had been born in Bartholomew Close next to the Hospital and his mother and sister were stillliving in the Hospital precinct in the 1720s. The two vast paintings which now adorn the walls were completed by Hogarth between 1734 and 1737. (…)


Illustrating the Biblical stories of the Goos Samaritan and Christ healing the lame man at the Pool of Bethesda, the two paintings reflect the spirit of the Hospital in caring for the sick and injured.


The people seen at the Pool of Bethesda are said to be modelled on real patients"1.

  • Photos by ti.supmacinu|ihgrob.l#ihgroB acuL (August 2011), courtesy of Barts and The London NHS Archives.

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