Brave new world

“When first innoculate children with a new vaccine, you don’t sleep well…”

Jonas Salk

This work resides in the Welcome Collection, London. It is an oil painting by EE Hillemacher. In 1994 whilst living in the UK, I was lucky enough to see it and to visit the magical home of Edward Jenner in Gloucestershire. This image has special significance in 2021, although it is somewhat contrived. After years of observation, thought and a little research, in May 1796 Jenner innoculated cowpox into the arm of James Phipps aged 8 years. The cowpox source was milkmaid Sarah Nelmes. In July that year the plucky James was injected with smallpox, without ill effect. This was the first act of conscious vaccination. Although this painting captures the event with Sarah Nelmes actually holding Phipps, there is no evidence they ever met and the scene is largely artistic license. #bebravelikejames #letsmakelemonade

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