Robert Whytt. Oil painting by G.B. Bellucci, 1738.

  • Bellucci, Giovanni Battista, 1684-1739.
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Robert Whytt. Oil painting by G.B. Bellucci, 1738. Public Domain Mark. Source: Wellcome Collection.

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About this work


Robert Whytt is recorded as matriculating in arts in Edinburgh in 1729. The following year he was studying medicine there under Alexander Monro primus, in whose class-list he appears also in 1732 and 1734. After studying in London, Paris and Leiden, he took his MD at Rheims in 1736 and another MD at St Andrew's in 1737. In 1738 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, and it is possible that the present portrait, which dates from the same year, commemorates that event. He published much on philosophical and medical subjects, including Essay on the vital and other involuntary motions of animals (1751), before his early death in 1766



Physical description

1 painting : oil on canvas ; canvas 76.3 x 63.7 cm


Bellucci pinxit an. 1738

References note

Roger French, Robert Whytt, the soul and medicine, London 1969, frontispiece (reproduced)
Julius Rocca, 'William Cullen (1710-1790) and Robert Whytt (1714-1766) on the nervous system', in Brain, mind and medicine: essays in eighteenth-century neuroscience, edited by Harry Whitaker, C.U.M. Smith, and Stanley Finger, New York, NY : Springer, 2007, pp. 85-98 (summary of Whytt's ideas about the nervous system).


Wellcome Collection 665664i

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