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Museum Treasures

'Rouse Ltd (Chemist) of Wigmore Street', a 1953 oil painting by John Vicat Cole

The painting by John Vicat Cole provides insight into what a pharmacy looked like in the mid-1900s.

Oil painting of a pharmacy

Source: RPS Museum

The viewer can make out glass jars and carboys on display, a traditional symbol of commercial pharmacies

This oil painting, completed in 1953, captures in detail the exterior of Rouse’s pharmacy at 12 Wigmore Street, London, W1. The shop window display is crammed with products for sale, and the glass specie jars and coloured carboys that for centuries had been used as the symbol for commercial pharmacies. The door of the pharmacy is open, with the interior of the shop partially shown.

The British artist John Vicat Cole (1903–1975) was a landscape painter who specialised in capturing old shop fronts. His work is a reminder of trades as they were in the early to mid 20th century.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20205994

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