The Doctor

Catalogue number
  • Art.IWM ART 725
Production date
1916
Subject period
Materials
  • medium: oil
  • support: canvas
Dimensions
  • Support: Height 571 mm
  • Support: Width 412 mm
  • frame: Height 778 mm
  • frame: Width 620 mm
  • frame: Depth 46 mm
Alternative Names
  • object category: painting
Creator
Category
art

© IWM (Art.IWM ART 725)

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Object description

image: Doctors and medical orderlies are treating injured soldiers in an open building with straw on the floor. One patient, stripped to the waist, is sitting up on a stretcher while a doctor inspects a loosely dressed wound to his head. Next to him a body lies on a stretcher the face covered in bandages. Behind, a patient is crouching on all fours with his trousers round his ankles, while a doctor inspects a wound in his lower back. Two other French soldiers stand by with arms in slings.

Label

The setting is the 'Shambles' (an old vernacular English term for a slaughter-house), a covered goods yard outside Dunkirk where wounded soldiers were treated. They were deposited here on arrival from the Front before medical facilities were properly organised to cope with the enormous flood of injured men. Nevinson's first job as a volunteer with the Red Cross was to tend to the dying men. In his autobiography, 'Paint and Prejudice', Nevinson describes his work at the 'Shambles': 'Our doctors took charge, and in five minutes I was nurse, water-carrier, stretcher-bearer, driver, and interpreter. Gradually the shed was cleansed, disinfected and made habitable, and by working all night we managed to dress most of the patients' wounds.'

Label

Doctors and medical orderlies hastily treat the injured soldiers in a makeshift hospital. The setting is the 'Shambles', a goods yard outside Dunkirk, where Nevinson worked as a Red Cross volunteer tending to wounded soldiers. He described the scene in his autobiography, Paint and Prejudice: 'Our doctors took charge, and in five minutes I was nurse, water-carrier, stretcher- bearer, driver, and interpreter. Gradually the shed was cleansed, disinfected and made inhabitable, and by working all night we managed to dress most of the patient's wounds.'

Inscription

C.R.W. NEVINSON.

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