The Edgeworth Family

1 portrait of Henry Edgeworth

The Edgeworth Family, by Adam Buck, 1787 - NPG L236 - Estate of Michael Butler; photograph © National Portrait Gallery, London

Estate of Michael Butler; photograph © National Portrait Gallery, London

The Edgeworth Family

by Adam Buck
chalk, watercolour and pastel on paper, 1787
10 5/8 in. x 15 7/8 in. (271 mm x 403 mm) oval
Lent by Michael Butler, 2005
Primary Collection
NPG L236

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  • Adam Buck (1759-1833). Artist associated with 16 portraits.

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This group portrait shows Richard Lovell Edgeworth, engineer, inventor and educational writer; his eldest daughter Maria, novelist and educational writer, and his third wife Elizabeth, amid their large family. Although of Irish descent and often resident in Ireland, the Edgeworths were heavily involved in English intellectual life. This drawing conveys the intellectual, emotional and ideological bond between father Richard and daughter Maria, who try to conduct a conversation against the relaxed backdrop of family life. Richard Edgeworth is pointing at a plan of one of his inventions, possibly his design for a telegraphic semaphore system. The group portrait is a fine example of the particular 'decorative neo-classical style' that Buck developed early in his career.

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