Edwin Edwards was an English landscape painter, etcher and a lawyer. He was born on January 6, 1823, in Framlingham, Suffolk. He was the son of a Norfolk landowner.
He was trained as a lawyer and used to look after the legal posts of the king until 1861. When he turned 38, he retired from the profession and devoted his entire life to art.
Edwards – An Etcher and Painter
In 1861, Edwards met a French artist Henri Fantin-Latour, in Paris and was inspired to become an etcher. After the return visit of Henri Fantin-Latour at his Sunbury-on-Thames home, Edwards decided to become an artist.
With his base in Sunbury and London and with passion, With his base in Sunbury and London and with passion, motivation, and dedication, Edwards became a successful landscape painter and etcher.
The subject of his painting included views of South of England and revolved around Devon, which is commonly known as Devonshire today and Cornwall.
Edwards was well connected with the European artistic circle, networking and making friends with all. The works of Alphonse Legros and James McNeil Whistler encouraged him in particular. Whistler had a passion for vocal music also.
In 1861, Edwards went for an etching trip with Whistler, Fantin-Latour and Francis Seymour Haden along the Thames. There he created a portrait of Whistler seated at Mousey rock and sketching.
Edwin Edwards Artist
Whistler had a passion for vocal music also. In 1861, Edwards went for an etching trip with Whistler, Fantin-Latour and Francis Seymour Haden along the Thames.
There he created a portrait of Whistler seated at Mousey rock and sketching. Edwards other friends were Charles Keene, Édouard Manet, Jacques-Emile Blanche, Jacquemart and Swinburne.
The famous Double Portrait
The above portrait was described by Fantin-Latour in a letter of 1874 as a Double Portrait in which he wanted to show that Edwards is sitting and working on his etching table and his wife is by his side “like a Guardian Angel”.
The couple was in Paris till February 1875 for the settings. However, the final painting was the modified version of the painter’s first idea.
Edwards is sitting at an angle and seems unaware of his spectator and his wife is facing the viewer with a rigid and firm look.
This portrait was exhibited in 1875 at the Salon. It received a second class medal as well. Mrs. Edwards donated this medal to the Tate Gallery in 1904. The medal is currently in the National Gallery, London on loan.
Edwards – The Exhibitor
Edwards was a creative and inexhaustible exhibitor. The Royal Academy exhibited fifty-four of his works while his one hundred and one works were being exhibited at several other institutions in the nineteenth century.
Edwards died in 1879 after which Continental Gallery held a memorial exhibition in his name.