Portrait of the Municipal Health Officer, Dr. W.R.C. Middleton

This is a portrait of Dr W R C Middleton who served as Singapore's Municipal Health Officer (1893 to 1920). He did much to improve the living conditions then and curtail the spreading of serious diseases as cholera. In recognition of his contributions, there was a hospital named after him in 1920.From newspaper accounts we know that the Russian artist, Anatole Shister’s three portraits, Alexander Gentle, Robert Peirce, and that of Middleton were planned to be hung in the chief committee room of the Municipal Offices in 1929. Thus one could surmise that this portrait was painted by Shister. Anatole Shister was a naturalised British subject of Russian origin, who trained in the Russian Imperial Academy of Fine Arts. In Malaya he gained a reputation for painting portraits of illustrious people including members of the colonial civil service.