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Aggregated blogs on Romantic Studies – please click through to read full posts.

Michael Brown on the War Paintings of Charles Bell, Surgeon

By Dr Fallon

Fig. 1 – Charles Bell, ‘Musket Ball Wound of Skull' (1809). Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

Reposted from the Surgery & Emotion Blog

WARNING: CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES OF WOUNDS AND INJURIES

Pity and Pride: Picturing the War Wounded in the Work of Charles Bell

November 2019

Principal Investigator Dr Michael Brown of Roehampton University considers the emotional content of the famous war paintings of the surgeon Charles Bell.

I recently had an article accepted for publication by the Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies which explores the relationship of the Scottish surgical siblings John Bell (1763-1820) and Charles Bell (1774-1842) to war, especially their imaginative and professional investment in military surgery and their complex emotional reactions to the experience of treating the wounded. Drawing on Yuval Noah Harari’s argument that the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries saw war configured as an increasingly transcendent emotional event, it considers the difficulties of translating both professional identities and emotional experiences across a widening civil-military divide.[1]

In this regard, what is particularly interesting about both John and Charles Bell is that neither man was a military surgeon. While Charles wrote in 1807 that ‘of all things I should like to be kept and sent to the armies as a surgeon’ and while John agitated for a role in the training of military surgeons, neither …read more

Source:: https://romanticillustrationnetwork.com/2019/12/19/michael-brown-on-the-war-paintings-of-charles-bell-surgeon/