John Bellany

Professor Sir Roy Calne (from 'The Addenbrookes Hospital Series')

About this artwork

In 1988 it became clear that Bellany’s liver was deteriorating so fast that he did not have much longer to live, unless he had a liver transplant. Against all the odds he was able to undergo a transplant operation at Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge performed by the pioneering surgeon, Professor Sir Roy Calne. It was completely successful. As soon as Bellany came round from the anaesthetic he could not believe he was still alive. He asked for pencil and paper and only after he was able to draw was he certain that he was alive. Over the next few weeks as he grew stronger he drew the doctors and nurses looking after him, but above all he drew himself, a new Lazarus. This tender drawing shows Calne who, in 1968, was the first person to perform a liver transplant operation in Europe.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
    John BellanyScottish (1942 - 2013)
  • title:
    Professor Sir Roy Calne (from 'The Addenbrookes Hospital Series')
  • date created:
    Dated 1988
  • materials:
    Black chalk on paper
  • measurements:
    77.00 x 56.80 cm (framed: 99.10 x 78.40 x 2.80 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1990
  • accession number:
    GMA 3544
  • gallery:
  • subject:
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John Bellany

John Bellany

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