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print. aquatint, col. St. Luke's Hospital. J.C. Stadler after Pugin. [women in asylum interior] Ackerman's Repository of Arts. plate 77. overall: 27x32cm; platemark: 23.5x27.5cm
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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