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Sir Herbert Benjamin Edwardes

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Sir Herbert Benjamin Edwardes, by Henry Moseley, circa 1850 -NPG 1391 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Sir Herbert Benjamin Edwardes

by Henry Moseley
circa 1850
99 in. x 63 3/4 in. (2515 mm x 1619 mm)
NPG 1391

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed and signed (bottom right): GENERAL SIR HERBERT EDWARDES K.C.B. K.C.S.I./Taken in the Afghan dress he wore at Bunnoo in 1848-1849/H. Moseley pinxit
Inscribed in ink on the back of the stretcher: Major Herbert Edwardes C.B. H.E. I.C.S. Painted by Henry Moseley, 52 Upper Charlotte S. Fitzroy Sqre.

This portraitback to top

This portrait must have been painted soon after Edwardes' triumphant return to England from India in January 1850. In 1849, shortly before his return, the Queen had declared him a brevet major and a companion of the Bath, the honours inscribed on the stretcher; the inscription on the painting itself must be later, as Edwardes was not knighted till 1860. A lithograph after this portrait by J. H. Lynch was published H. Squire & Co, 1850 (example in NPG). The town in the background of the picture is unidentified, but may represent Multan, before which Edwardes decisively defeated the rebel Diwán Mulráj in 1848. This portrait was on loan to the India Office, London, for some years in exchange for the marble bust by J. H. Foley. An etching by A. Crowquill, apparently based on the portrait by Moseley, and showing Edwardes in the same costume, was published R. Bentley, 1850 (example in NPG).

Physical descriptionback to top

Dark complexion, brown eyes, dark brown hair and beard. Dressed in a red costume, with a green sash round his waist, green trousers, gold-embroidered green cloak, red and gold shoes, red sword scabbard. Orange sky above town. Rest of background dark brown.

Provenanceback to top

The sitter, bequeathed by his widow, Lady Edwardes, 1905.

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Ormond, Early Victorian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1973, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

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