King Edward VII

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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King Edward VII

replica by Luke Fildes
oil on canvas, 1902-1912, based on a work of 1902
108 1/2 in. x 71 in. (2756 mm x 1803 mm)
Given by George V, 1912
Primary Collection
NPG 1691

Sitterback to top

  • King Edward VII (1841-1910), Reigned 1901-10. Sitter associated with 505 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Sir (Samuel) Luke Fildes (1843-1927), Illustrator and genre and portrait painter. Artist or producer associated with 13 portraits, Sitter in 14 portraits.

This portraitback to top

A replica of Fildes' coronation portrait (1901), commissioned from the artist and presented to the Gallery by George V, 1912. It shows the king wearing a field marshal’s uniform, the highest rank in the British army.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Smartify image discovery app
  • Cannadine, Sir David (Introduction); Cooper, Tarnya; Stewart, Louise; MacGibbon, Rab; Cox, Paul; Peltz, Lucy; Moorhouse, Paul; Broadley, Rosie; Jascot-Gill, Sabina, Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits, 2018 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, USA, 7 October 2018 -3 February 2019. Bendigo Art Gallery, Australia, 16 March - 14 July 2019.), p. 183 Read entry

    This portrait was given to the National Portrait Gallery by the sitter's son, George V, and is a replica of the king's official state portrait made for the Royal Collection. The artist received so many orders for replicas from embassies around the world that he was forced to employ a team of artists to undertake the work, which took place in St James's Palace.

  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 196
  • Williamson, David, Kings and Queens, 2010, p. 152

Events of 1902back to top

Current affairs

Prime Minister Lord Salisbury resigns and is replaced by his nephew, Balfour, who this year introduces the Education Act, which controversially hands control of secondary education from school boards to Local Education Authorities.
Arthur Griffith, leader of the Society of Gaels, introduces a policy of 'Sinn Fein' at a Society meeting in Dublin, which includes passive resistance to the British and the establishment of an Irish ruling council.

Art and science

Joseph Conrad publishes his short story The Heart of Darkness, a powerful critique of European imperialism. Based on his experiences in Africa, the narrative follows Charles Marlow's journey into the Belgian Congo in search of the mysterious trader Kurtz.
In New York, Alfred Stieglitz founds the Photo-Secession movement, a group of US photographers influenced by the Pictoralist movement, seeking recognition of photography as art in its own terms.

International

The first Aswan Dam is opened on the Nile, at the time the world's largest dam. The gravity dam, 1900m long and 54m high, was designed by Sir William Willcocks and built by engineers including Sir John Aird, whose firm John Aird & Company was the main contractor.
The Boer War ends after the Boers accept their loss of independence under the Treaty of Vereeniging, bringing the Boer republics under British control.

Comments back to top

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John H Wilde, Greenwood, SC

22 January 2019, 23:35

Back in 1956 I stood in front of Fildes' portrait of Edward VII. An elderly man came up beside me, looked at the portrait for a minute or so, said, "E was a proper king, e was", and walked away.