It is not known who created this bust of Asklepios (Asclapius), although it is possible that they came from a suppllier such as Brucciani & Co. However, it appears to be identical to the bust of Asklepios which is found above the main door into the hall. The busts only appear to differ in their finish, with this piece being finished in white whilst the second bust of Asklepios appears to have been cast in terracotta and is left without a white finish. This contrasts with the other pairs of identical busts in the college (for instance those of Harvey and Hippocrates), wherein both members of the pair are made from identical materials and given identical finishes.

A statue of Asklepios can also be seen on the College's main façade.


Asklepios was the Greek god of healing. He was the father of Hygiea, whose statue can be found, alongside his own, on the main façade of the college.  In the Iliad Asklepios is also represented as the father of Machaon and Podaleirios, the doctors who attend the Greek army during the siege of Troy.

Asklepios himself was the son of Apollo and Coronis, a mortal. Apollo killed Coronis for marrying another mortal, Ischys, but he saved their child whom he gave to the wise centaur Chiron to care for. It was from Chiron that Asklepios learned the art of medicine. According to Greek mythology Asklepios was killed by Zeus because he restored the health of Hippolytos when entreated to do so by Artemis.

By the classical period Asklepioswas worshipped as a god and as the founder of medicine. His shrines often contain a sacred snake, always acquired from the main temple to him at Epidaurus. This may contribute to the traditional artistic representation of Asklepios in which he carries a staff entwined with a snake. The serpents and rods, which Ritchie executed on the façade of the college, are also symbols which derived from this traditional representation of Asklepios.

On his deathbed Socrates is believed to have said: ‘Remember we owe a cock to Asklepios', a statement which recalls that cockerels were ritually sacrificed to Asklepios. References to Asklepios return throughout the fabric of this building, for instance the japanned caps of the lights outside the College have gilded cockerels.