Thomas Garnett

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Portrait of: Thomas Garnett
By: S. Philipps
After : T. Philipps
Style: Stipple engraving
Date: 1801
Dimensions: 35. 7 x 46. 8 cm

Thomas Garnett (1766-1802) was a physician and chemist born in Westmorland. He studied at the University of Edinburgh and obtained his MD in 1788. Here he was influenced by the lectures of the chemist Joseph Black and the doctrineof John Brown. During his time in Edinburgh he was active in the Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh and was president to both the Royal Physical Society andthe Natural History Society.

Some late eighteenth and early nineteenth century prints in the collection occasionally break away from the standard image of the medical man as an intellectual instead highlighting the practical side of the profession by featuring technological medical apparatus (here Garnett rests his hand on a bell jar). As the period moved forward technology came to stand for an ideal of a teleological progress towards modernisation and advancement in scientific and medical fields. Technical equipment similar to that in the portrait of Garnett is more prominent in later prints.

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