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FOR LEIGH AND SOTHEBY, W. J. AND J. RICHARDSON, R. FAULDER,

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AN ACCOUNT

OF THE

LIFE OF MR. EDWARDS.

EDWARD EDWARDS was born March 7th, 1738, in Castlestreet, Leicester-fields. Ilis father was a chair maker and carver, and a native of Shrewsbury, but fettled in London, where he married, and had two sons and a daughter. Of these children Edward Edwards was the eldeft. He was naturally a very weakly child, which was expressed, while he was an infant, in his form, it gradually becoming distorted. To this, it was also believed an accident contributed. At an early age he was sent to a Proteftant School, established for the education of the children of French refugees : here he learnt the French language, and acquired it fufficiently to be able to speak it tolerably well.

When he was fifteen years old, he was taken from school, and began to work with his father at the shop of Mr. Hallet, an upholsterer at the corner of Great St. Martin's Lane, Long Acre, where he continued till he was eighteen years age. While he was in this fituation, he indicated an inclination to drawing, and drew patterns for furniture. His father's intention was to make him a carver and gilder; but he foon had wishes beyond that employ, and sought every opportunity of looking at works of art; but happening to be thus occupied, he was

b

harshly

of

harshly treated by one of the partners, which caused his father to remove him, and to leave him at liberty to exert himself in acquiring more scientifically the rudiments of art. For this purpose, he took leffons at a drawing school; and in 1759 he was deemed qualified to be admitted a student at the Duke of Richmond's gallery, which contained excellent casts of many of the finest antique statues.

In 1760, he sustained a great loss in the death of his father, who was a very ingenious man, but of a reserved and fly difpofition, which prevented him from profiting, as he might otherwise have done, by his ingenuity. He left his widow and children wholly unprovided with means for a maintenance, except what they might be able to procure by their industry. Edward Edwards was now but twenty-two years of age, and with but a Nender foundation in his art, he had to support his mother and a brother and sister. He had lodgings in Comptonstreet, Soho, and with other efforts to obtain the means of living, he opened an evening school, (at his lodgings) and taught drawing to several young men who either aimed to be artists, or to qualify themselves to be cabinet or ornamental furniture makers.

But under all his difficulties, he steadily persevered in his endeavour to acquire power in the art to which he had devoted his mind, and in 1761 he was admitted a member of the academy Peter Court, St. Martin's Lane. Here he had the advantage of studying the human figure with the principal artists of that period, and made such progress as to be encouraged to offer a drawing for a premium proposed by the Society established for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce ; and fucceeded.

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