Frank Bowling Painting 1

Dr Monro, Mr Turner and His Mother Lecture by Dr Barry Hoffbrand

Dr Monro, Mr Turner and His Mother Lecture by Dr Barry Hoffbrand

A fascinating story combining art and science Dr Barry Hoffbrand brings to life the strange goings on of a past age.

Dr Thomas Monro has a place in art history as mentor of the teenage geniuses JMW Turner and Thomas Girtin in the 1790s at his Adelphi home. He was physician at the Bethlem Hospital (Bedlam) and was consulted during the madness of George III in 1811 - 12. In 1799, the year Turner became associate RA he (and his father) admitted his mentally ill mother Mary to St Luke’s Hospital for Lunaticks. Discharged as “incurable” 12 months later she was admitted to Bethlem as a pauper patient though ineligible thanks to a dishonest application form and a blind eye from Monro, who resigned in 1816 after a damning report on conditions at Bethlem.