Florence and the Mosaic

At the gloomy end of a ground floor corridor in St Thomas’ Hospital, London, hangs this paper mosaic.

Paper Mosaic

There is no helpful sign to say who made it or when. It’s pretty obviously of Florence Nightingale, who founded the school of nursing at St Thomas’. I’m guessing it depicts Scutari, but that’s about as far as I can go.

Who is this officer, languidly at ease, sitting while Florence stands? Surely that’s ungentlemanly? Or does his sling excuse him?

Officer at Ease

This soldier’s face suggests he’s had enough of fighting.

Long-nosed Soldier

Is this Florence again, riding in the carriage?

Lady in a Carriage

I only used the flash once, on this section, showing the dove of peace. I think I should perhaps have used flash for all of them. Next time I have the opportunity I shall try it.

Dove of Peace

In the meantime, if anyone reading this does know more about this paper mosaic, or has any ideas about where I could find out about it, please please let me know.

And next time I’ll try for better pix.


15 thoughts on “Florence and the Mosaic

  1. Gosh, that was quick!
    I saw it first a few years ago. Every time I see it now it intrigues me. It is beautifully made. I am guessing it is in this dimly lit spot to protect it from fading.

  2. Isobel – it MAY be part of a huge mosaic Italian artist Sirio Tonelli did – 33 panels, 30 feet tall, hanging in Emory University’s facility titled “Medicine Through the Ages – A Mosaic”….2.5 million glass chips, 3,000 different colors. There IS a panel of Florence Nightengale in the group but not sure about the other “parts” so perhaps it’s NOT part of that larger work. Maybe a smaller work but by the same artist? I just googled “Florence Nightengale Paper Mosaics” and a link to Emory U popped up. Perhaps all coincidence.

    Happy hunting………..

  3. Checked yours out , Pam and it doesn’t match. But that inspired me to look for and email the GSTT arts dept, so should I hear anything, I’ll post here. I just think it is an intriguing and wonderful work.

    • The more I thought about it last night, the more I realized the style wasn’t precisely right either….the paper mosaic you saw really looked older and less “formal” or something……but it was interesting that whoever did YOUR mosaic and the artist who did the one at Emory were both mosaic artists and chose the “medical” theme. Can’t wait to hear what you find out about the paper mosaic – I love good mysteries!


  4. Interesting findings and interestingly depicted, isobel.
    It’s fantastic witnessing you: eyes and mind always wide opened!
    Thank you!

  5. Hello, I know all about this mosaic. It was made by my farther Helmut Muller. He was an art therapist at The Tooting Bec Hospital, now a Sainsburys. There were other mosaics too, of which I have photos. I also have paintings he did from the mid 50s and up to the late 80s. Helmut died in 1992. I would be only too pleased to give you any information that you may be interested in. Helmut was also into ceramics. Please, feel free to call me or email. Best wishes, Kevin Walsh-Muller 01892 653168 07768 203252.

    • It’s alright. I have removed your comment for the moment. I shall amke a note of your details, then edit it and it will reappear. SAre you okay with your email showing?

  6. Thanks for that. Maybe you should take down my email too. I just wanted you to have a contact for me. Cheers, Kevin.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.