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'St Luke's Hospital', print, London, 1809

'St Luke's Hospital', print, London, 1809

Credits: National Railway Museum

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The original St Luke’s Hospital for Lunatics was founded in 1751 to relieve the pressure on London’s other major asylum, Bethlem Hospital. This image shows the second St Lukes, which was built in Old Street, London, in 1786. Although this print shows women literally tearing out their hair and rocking backwards and forwards, St Luke’s was one of the first medical teaching hospitals where mental disorders were actively studied. This print was made from an original painting by Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827), in association with French architect and draughtsman Augustine Pugin (1762-1832). It was engraved by John Stadler (active 1780-1812) and printed by Rudolph Ackermann (1764-1834), a German printer, as part a famous series of images called 'Microcosm of London.'

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Glossary: print

Pictorial works produced by transferring images by means of a matrix such as a plate, block, or screen, using any of various printing processes. When emphasizing the individual printed image, use "impressions." Avoid the controversial expression "original prints," except in reference to discussions of the expression's use. If prints are neither "reproductive prints" nor "popular prints," use just "prints."

Glossary: hospital ward

A division of a hospital

Glossary: psychiatric hospital

Psychiatric hospital specialising in the treatment of serious mental illness, usually for relatively long-term patients.

Glossary: asylum

A historic term for a psychiatric hospital. The term in this context was common in the 1700s and 1800s, but is no longer in use.