RANZCO Eye Museum


Medical Artist – Ilene Hill

Prior to anterior segment and retinal photography, medical artists performed the tasks of documenting pathology. The College Archives in Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Library contain fine examples of these works. With the development of the ophthalmoscope and slit lamp in the 19th century, ophthalmologists led by Vogt described in meticulous detail eye pathology laying the foundations of modern ophthalmology. Ilene Hill graduated at the Art Gallery of Victoria in company with many other well-known artists. The ophthalmologist Rupert Naylor who practiced in Collins Street, Melbourne taught her to use an ophthalmoscope and from there she had a fruitful career serving hospital Eye Departments and private practices in Melbourne over twenty years from 1940. Retinal paintings were charged at 4 guineas for two paintings. There are instances where a patient has been serially documented over the course of an illness. The collection of these paintings and drafts of her work are in the RANZCO Museum.