Edward Matthew Ward (1816-1879)

James II in his Palace of Whitehall

Edward Matthew Ward studied at the Royal Academy schools, and also spent some time in Munich learning the art of fresco painting under Peter von Cornelius, later producing frescoes for the House of Commons. He primarily painted historical and subject pictures. Later in life Ward suffered from depression and he committed suicide at Slough.

The subject of this painting was based upon the memoirs of Sir John Dalrymple. Following its exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1850 the critic of Blackwood’s Magazine observed that the painting 'attracts a very full share of public attention; although there is no criterion of merit.' The Art Journal’s critic was more appreciative and observed that the work 'May be characterised as a chef d’oeuvre of the British school, honourable to the artist and to the Academy'.

Image above: James II in his Palace of Whitehall, Receiving the News of the Landing of the Prince of Orange, in
1688, exhibited 1850 - Tate, London, 2007