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Dr. Robert Knox, 1791 - 1862. Anatomist

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Dr. Robert Knox, 1791 - 1862. Anatomist About 1830

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
There is something very sinister about this silhouette of Dr Knox, who seems to be engaged in a heated discussion with a skull. Knox was the leading teacher of anatomy in Edinburgh in the 1820s. His reputation suffered a major blow when he was implicated in one of the most notorious murders in Scottish history, carried out by the Irish immigrants Burke and Hare. They had sold the bodies of their victims to Knox for dissection. Knox was not prosecuted, but left Edinburgh under public pressure and died in London where he is buried in an unmarked grave.

Glossary Open


Images showing an outline with no internal detail set against a contrasting background. It is specifically used for portraits of this type cut from paper.



  • Acc. No. PG 831
  • Medium Cut paper
  • Size Height: 18.60 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1913