Portrait of czars' doctor unveiled at exhibition
A LITTLE-seen portrait of a Scottish doctor whose adventures earned him a small part in War and Peace goes on show at the National Portrait Gallery today.
The portrait of James Wylie - the personal surgeon to three Russian czars, who appears in Tolstoy's epic as Villiers, a Russianised version of his name - emerged in March and has been loaned by his family to the gallery in Edinburgh.
The Healing Touch, an exhibition chronicling 500 years of Scottish medical achievement, ranges from the founding of the Barber-Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1505, to the first Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in 1741, to the genetic breakthroughs of the Roslin Institute.
The gallery director, James Holloway, himself the son of a doctor and the grandson of a surgeon, said: "It's an extraordinary Scottish success story."
The exhibition ranges from Sir Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin, to the anatomist, Robert Knox, who was allegedly involved with the infamous Edinburgh murderers Burke and Hare.
It also features doctors who inspired great literature, including John Hunter, whose London home was the basis for Dr Jekyll's house in Robert Louis Stevenson's novel, and Joseph Bell, Conan Doyle's inspiration for Sherlock Holmes.