In 1865 the Great Hall was enlarged by the architect David Bryce, who ordered the roundel portraits from George MacCallum. MacCallum was paid four pounds per profile, a total of £60 for the set of 15 ‘Heads with wreaths’.

The portraits appear along the frieze in the Great Hall. Each of the figures in the roundel portraits is surrounded by a laurel wreath which is both an aesthetic, decorative feature, and a classical symbol which emphasises the importance of the figure depicted in the portrait.

Hunter is one of only two figures (the other being Avicenna) in the roundel portraits to be depicted with headware. Overall however this profile depicts Hunter as possessing smooth, clearly defined features which contrast with some of the other profiles, such as Sydenham and Harvey. Alongside the roundel portrait a plaster bust of Hunter can also be found in the College.

John Hunter (1728 – 1793)

John Hunter began his medical education in London under his elder brother William (1718-1783) who was a teacher of anatomy and an accoucher. John progressed to become his brother’s assistant and prosector before joining the English army as a surgeon during the Seven Years’ War.

Following his time with the army Hunter returned to London where he initially joined the dental practice of James Spence and produced his first major scientific work A Treatise on the Natural History of the Human Teeth (1771). From 1770 Hunter also began taking on students, the first of which was Edward Jenner (whose profile can also be seen on the frieze). In 1783 he acquired a property at Leicester Fields (now Leicester Square) where he had both his practice and lecture hall.