Alexander Morison Illustrations

Title

Alexander Morison Illustrations

Description

Morison was born on 1 May 1779 at Anchorfield, near Edinburgh, and was educated at the University of Edinburgh, where he graduated MD on 12 September 1799. His graduation thesis was 'De hydrocephalo phrenitico', and he continued throughout life to take particular interest in cerebral and mental diseases. He became a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh in 1800, a fellow in 1801, and president in 1827. He practised in Edinburgh for a time, but was made inspecting physician of lunatic asylums in Surrey in 1810, and in 1835 physician to the Bethlem Hospital and later to several other asylums. Unable to find an institution in Edinburgh willing to let him have teaching facilities he nevertheless organized his own course of lectures. In 1816 he was appointed physician-in-ordinary to Princess Charlotte of Wales, and later to her husband, Prince Leopold, and in 1838 he was knighted. His publications included Outlines of Lectures on Mental Diseases (1826), Cases of Mental Disease, with Practical Observations on the Medical Treatment (1828), and The Physiognomy of Mental Diseases (1840).

The drawings in this collection were originally commissioned as illustrations to Morison's lectures on physiognomy as a method of psyhological diagnosis. The earliest are probably copies of drawings executed at the Salpêtrière asylum for the French alienist Esquirol. After a tour of the Paris asylums, Morison followed Esquirol's example by commissioning portraits of the insane in 1826, the draughtsman being François Rochard (1798-1858). In 1835, when Morison was appointed visiting physician to the Bethlem Hospital, he resumed his commissions to Rochard. From 1836 he patronised the Scottish portrait painter Alexander Johnston (1815-1891). Some of Johnston's and Rochard's drawings along with copies from Esquirol were engraved as illustrations to 'The Physiognomy of Mental Diseases' (1840). Around 1841 Morison began to employ Charles Gow (fl 1844-1872), many of whose portraits were reproduced in the 'Outlines of Lectures' (1848).

Date

c1837 - 1848

Items in the Alexander Morison Illustrations Collection

Captioned &#039;D B mania Bethlem&#039;. <br /><br />
Similar to plate 13 of Morison’s 'The Physiognomy of Mental Diseases' (1840). Unsigned [Alexander Johnston].

'Portrait of an old woman, D. B., aged 72. Mania, not hereditary, of nine weeks duration; after an attack of inflammation, with…

Captioned &#039;Bethlem - D B monomania. grandeur etc genl [general] paralysis succeeding mania&#039;. <br /><br />
Illustration from the collection of Alexander Morison. Similar to plate 14 of Morison’s 'The Physiognomy of Mental Diseases' (1840). Initialled A J [Alexander Johnston].

'Portrait of D. B., No. 13, in a state of monomania; in this case the…

Uncaptioned but titled &#039;Raving Madness&#039;.
Illustration from the collection of Alexander Morison. Signed A Johnston. The drawing is of one of a pair of sculptures by Caius Gabriel Cibber made for the gate of Bethlem Hospital and now in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Captioned &#039;Louisa Rudsdale Bethlem mania. January 1848&#039;.  <br /><br />
Illustration from the collection of Alexander Morison. Unsigned [Charles Gow].

Captioned &#039;Louisa Rudsdale Bethlem mania - recovered, June 1848&#039;.  <br /><br />
Illustration from the collection of Alexander Morison. Unsigned [Charles Gow].

Captioned &#039;Winstanley mania 19 May 1842&#039;. <br /><br />
Illustration from the collection of Alexander Morison. Signed C Gow.

Captioned &#039;Winstanley improved&#039;. <br /><br />
Illustration from the collection of Alexander Morison. Signed Charles Gow.

Captioned &#039;Winstanley 3rd time after discharge&#039;. <br /><br />
Illustration from the collection of Alexander Morison. Unsigned [Charles Gow].

Captioned &#039;Booly mania (religious) Bethlem March 1846&#039;. <br /><br />
Illustration from the collection of Alexander Morison. Signed C Gow.

Captioned &#039;John Booly recovered 12 May 1847&#039;.
Illustration from the collection of Alexander Morison. Signed C Gow.