1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ward, Edward Matthew

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[ 319 ] WARD, EDWARD MATTHEW (1816-1879), English historical and genre painter, was born at Pimlico, London, in 1816. Among his early boyish efforts in art was a series of clever illustrations to the Rejected Addresses of his uncles Horace and James Smith, which was followed soon afterwards by designs to some of the papers of Washington Irving. In 1830 he gained the silver palette of the Society of Arts; and in 1835, aided by Wilkie and Chantrey, he entered the schools of the Royal Academy, having in the previous year contributed to its exhibition his portrait of Mr O. Smith, the comedian, in his character of Don Quixote. In 1836 he went to Rome, where in 1838 he gained a silver medal from the Academy of St Luke for his “Cimabue and Giotto,” which in the following year was exhibited at the Royal Academy. The young artist now turned his thoughts to fresco-painting, which he studied under Cornelius at Munich. In 1843 he forwarded his “Boadicea Animating the Britons previous to the Last Battle against the Romans” to the competition for the decoration of the Houses of Parliament — a work upon which he was afterwards engaged, having in 1853 been directed by the fine art commissioners to execute eight subjects in the corridor of the House of Commons. The success of his “Dr Johnson in Lord Chesterfield's Ante-Room” — now in the National Gallery, along with the “Disgrace of Lord Clarendon” (the smaller picture) (1846), the “South Sea Bubble” (1847), and “James II. Receiving the News of the Landing of the Prince of Orange” (1850) — secured his election as an associate of the Royal Academy in 1847, and in 1855 he gained full academic honours. Among the more important of his other works may be named “Charlotte Corday Led to Execution” (1852), the “Last Sleep of Argyll” (1854), the “Emperor of the French Receiving the Order of the Garter” (1859), painted for the queen, the “Ante-Chamber at Whitehall during the Dying Moments of Charles II.” (1861), “Dr Johnson's First Interview with John Wilkes” (1865), and the “Royal Family of France in the Temple,” painted in 1851, and usually considered the artist's masterpiece. He died at Windsor, on the 15th of January 1879. In 1848 he had married Henrietta Ward (b. 1832), who, herself an admirable artist, was a granddaughter of James Ward, R.A. (1760-1859), the distinguished animal painter. Their son, Leslie Ward (b. 1851), became well known as “Spy” of Vanity Fair (from 1873 to 1909), and later of the World, with his character portraits of contemporary celebrities.