About this artwork

After being trained by his surgeon father and assisting him in treating the wounded on the battlefield of Sherrifmuir after the 1715 rebellion, Alexander Monro was sent to complete his medical education in London, Paris and Leiden. He returned to Edinburgh in 1719 and within four months, aged only twenty-three, he became the first Professor of Anatomy at the University. Under Monro’s direction student numbers increased steadily. Whilst there had been just over a thousand students in the 1730s, thirty years later that figure had almost doubled and Edinburgh had become one of the most important centres for medical teaching. Monro’s two sons, Alexander ‘Secundus’ – the second – and Donald, both followed in their father’s footsteps, and so did his grandson, Alexander ‘Tertius’ – the third.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
    Allan RamsayScottish (1713 - 1784)
  • title:
    Alexander Monro of Auchenbowie ('Primus'), 1697 - 1767
  • date created:
    about 1750
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    75.80 x 63.50 cm; Framed: 93.70 x 81.10 x 8.50 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1990
  • accession number:
    PG 2843
  • gallery:
  • depicted:
  • subject:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? Tell us what you think.

Allan Ramsay

Allan Ramsay