The Edwards Family on a Terrace

Due to copyright restrictions, access to this image is restricted to certain sizes outside the University of Michigan.
Six figures appear in a formal garden landscape. On the right a pair of men in powdered wigs stand behind two women, one seated in a wheelchair, before an elaborate portico. A pair of boys, also sporting wigs, stand on the left, partly screened by a fountain. One of the boys holds a shell and the other carries a parrot. A small pool extends through the middle ground behind the figures and draws attention to the setting and the distant obelisk visible above the trees.
Charles Philips
1732
This group portrait, which exemplifies the genre of painting known as the "conversation piece," depicts members of the family of Walter Edwards of London in their garden. Walter stands in the center of the group behind his wife Mary, daughter of Richard Freeman of Batsford, Gloucestershire. William, Walter's brother, stands to the right behind an older woman in a wheeled chair, possibly their mother. Walter's sons stand on the left apart from the adults and hold a shell and parrot, objects that evoke the preoccupations of children. Great care was taken in this painting to capture the likenesses of the sitters and their relationship, as well as to convey their status and refinement through the meticulous rendition of their property and dress.
Museum purchase made possible by the W. Hawkins Ferry Fund
2000/2.3
Tuesday, June 28, 2022