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Free entry - booking recommended

Tuesday to Saturday: 10am – 5pm

Oil painting depicting a fictional examination scene incorporating portraits of several senior members of the Court of Examiners from the late 1800s. Three viva voce interviews are taking place in the room: in each, a young candidate sits at a table covered in anatomical and pathological specimens, and is being quizzed by a pair of examiners. In the background on the left of the painting the examiners are Edward Lund (1823-1898) and Sir William MacCormac (1825-1901): Lund is writing notes while MacCormac sits with his left hand on his ear as the candidate studies the pot in front of him. In the centre and foreground of the painting a second candidate is being examined by John Wood (1825-1891) and Sir Jonathan Hutchinson (1828-1913). The candidate - a young man with short dark hair and a dark moustache - is holding a specimen up to the light and regarding it quizzically. Wood, seated behind the table and positioned in the centre of the scene, is leaning forward with his head resting on his right hand and his elbow on the table: he is staring at the candidate intently, but his face and his posture convey a sense of weariness and exasperation. To Wood's left (and the viewer's right) Hutchinson is sitting back and regarding the candidate more dispassionately. Behind Wood and Hutchinson, in the background on the right of the painting, John Marshall (1818-1891) and Frederick Le Gros Clark (1811-1892) are examining a third candidate. On the wall of the room behind this scene is a central fireplace, above which the lower part of the portrait of John Hunter is visible. To the left, part of the portrait of Anthony Carlisle can be seen, while to the right the lower portion of the portrait of Astley Cooper is visible.

The Viva by Henry Jamyn Brooks, 1894

Museum Hire

Out-of-hours hire booking request

The Hunterian Museum is available to hire out-of-hours for visits with a guide, for filming, and for private parties.

Please click the link opposite to fill in the booking request form.

You are welcome to contact the museum before filling in the form to check availability for the dates you want, however you will need to use the form to make an official request.