Edward Bird [1772-1819]
The mothers pride, 1805
Oil on canvas
5 x 4 inches
Signed at lower left : ‘[illegible]’.
From Here To Antiquity (David Smernoff) ; [Samuel Coppers?] and M[argaret?] Coppers, New York, NY ; J. A. Cardon ; E. N. Ladders ; Reverend George Jekyll [1776-1843], clerk of West Coker, England.
The commission of this painting is mentioned in the obituary of the artist. The painting portrays George Wilkinson Jekyll [1799-1819], son of Reverend George Jekyll [1776-1843] at age six years old.
Marking type: Large label with ink writing.
Location: lower center verso.
Text: ‘ “The Mothers Pride” / Portrait of a son of Rv Jekyll / E? N, Ladders (eagrancdl [?] ? ?. Cardon / 1805 / M Coppers’.
Marking type: Panel stamp in red with red border.
Location: Upper middle verso.
Text: ‘ [illegible] / 35 Cranbourn Street / Leicester Square LONDON. W.’.
Edward Bird, an English genre artist, spent most of his working life in Bristol, where the Bristol School of artists formed around him. He enjoyed a period of popularity in London, rivaling the dominance of David Wilkie in the field of genre painting, before moving to historical and battle scenes.
He was born in Wolverhampton, the son of a carpenter. He had no formal art training, but developed his skills through apprenticeship as a japanning artist painting tea trays. Bird had a naturalistic style and his use of fresh colors, especially in his genre paintings, drew a large number of artists to his School, amongst them Rippingille and Francis Danby. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1809. Both the Prince Regent and Princess Charlotte were patrons of the artist.