Engraving, The south sea bubble by J. Carter after Edward Ward


19th century steel engraving by J. Carter colored by hand, After a painting, The south sea bubble by Edward Ward. The image is 25.5 x 17 cm in size and comes in a spacious passe partout. The print is in good condition.

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Edward Matthew Ward RA (14 July 1816 – 15 January 1879) was an English Victorian narrative painter best known for his murals in the Palace of Westminster depicting episodes in British history from the English Civil War to the Glorious Revolution.Ward was born in Pimlico, London. As a youth, he created illustrations for the well-known book Rejected Addresses, written by his uncles James and Horace Smith. He also created illustrations to the papers of Washington Irving. In 1830 he won the “silver palette” from the Society of Arts. With support from David Wilkie and Francis Leggatt Chantrey, he became a student at the Royal Academy Schools. In 1836 he travelled to Rome, gaining a silver medal from the Academy of St Luke in 1838 for his Cimabue and Giotto, which in the following year was exhibited at the Royal Academy.While a student at the Schools, Ward became a member of The Clique, a group of painters led by Richard Dadd. Like other members of the Clique Ward saw himself as a follower of Hogarth and Wilkie, considering their styles to be distinctly national in character. Many of his early paintings were set in the eighteenth century and were on Hogarthian subjects. He also painted episodes from seventeenth century history, influenced by the thinking of his friend, the historian Thomas Babington Macaulay. He also painted subjects from the history of the French Revolution. In 1843 he entered the Palace of Westminster cartoon competition, but failed to win a prize. In the 1850s Ward came into conflict with the Pre-Raphaelites, especially Millais, whose style of art he considered to be un-British. Ward’s painting of Charlotte Corday being led to execution beat Millais’s Ophelia for a prize at Liverpool, leading to much debate at the time. His historical paintings led to Ward’s commission to paint eight scenes in the corridor leading into the House of Commons, despite the fact that he had won nothing at the original 1843 competition. These were to depict parallel episodes on the Royalist and Parliamentary sides in the Civil War. Ward’s paintings depict the opposed figures as if confronting one another across the corridor. Ward continued to paint Hogarthian versions of episodes from British history throughout the 1860s, notably Hogarth’s Studio in 1739 (1863, York City Art Gallery) the Antechamber at Whitehall During the Dying Moments of Charles II (1865, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool). In the 1870s he painted some modern-life genre subjects, but towards the end of the decade began to suffer painful illness and depression. On 10 January 1879 he was found raving on the floor of his dressing-room, his throat cut with a razor; he was shouting, “I was mad when I did it; the devil prompted me”. Medical help arrived, but he died on 15 January at his home, 3 Queens Villas, in Windsor. The inquest in Windsor on 17 January found that he committed suicide while temporarily insane.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Matthew_Ward

The South Sea Company (officially The Governor and Company of the merchants of Great Britain, trade in the South Sea and other parts of America, and to encourage fishing)] was a British limited company founded in 1711, established as a public-private company partnership to consolidate and reduce the cost of government debt. The company got a monopoly to trade with South America and nearby islands, hence the name (the modern use of the term “South Seas” to refer to the entire South Pacific was unknown in England at the time). When the company was founded, Great Britain was involved in the War of the Spanish Succession and Spain controlled South America. There was no realistic prospect that the trade would take place and the company has never made any significant gains with its monopoly. The shares of the company increased significantly in value as it expanded its activities to trade in government bonds, peaking in 1720 before it collapsed to slightly above its initial price; the economic bubble became known as the South Sea Bubble.