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 Edward Matthew Ward  (1816 - 1879)

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Lived/Active: United Kingdom      Known for: painting

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from Auction House Records.
The Major's adventures
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Biography from Christie's London, King Street:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Ward was born in Pimlico, and evidently showed talent in his draughtsmanship from an early age as he was encouraged in his artistic studies by Chantrey and Wilkie who sponsored his admission to the RA schools in 1835 at the age of nineteen. Between 1836 and 1839 Ward studied in Rome and won a silver medal at the Academy of St Luke for his historical compositions, which he pursued throughout his career. On his return to London he entered the Westminster Hall competitions to provide designs for decorative schemes for the new building and in 1852 he was commissioned to paint eight subjects of English eighteenth-century history in the House of Commons. Clearly influenced by Paul Delaroche’s historic masterpieces such as The Execution of Lady Jane Grey (Royal Academy, 1834), Ward enjoyed the most success in depicting scenes from the French Revolution. Works of the 1850s by Ward and Delaroche illustrate the narrative chronologically: in 1851 Ward exhibited The French royal family during their confinement in the Temple at the Royal Academy, then in 1853 Delaroche exhibited Marie-Antoinette before the tribunal. The present work was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1856.

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