Portrait Miniature of General Edward Morrison (circa 1760-1843), in the uniform of the Coldstream Guards; circa 1795

GBP 5,750.00

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Object Description

The sitter is depicted in the Dress coat of a company officer in the Coldstream Guards. Since Morrison’s parents, General George Morrison and his wife Mary (née Becher), sat to Edridge in 1793 (now in the collection of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge), it seems probable that their son Edward commissioned the artist to paint his miniature at the same time. Additionally, the uniform coat worn by Edward in the miniature is of a style worn by officers of his regiment in the 1790s and Edward was a captain and lieutenant-colonel in the Coldstream between 1790 and 1795.

Edward Morrison spent his entire regimental career with the Coldstream Guards, being commissioned ensign and lieutenant in 1777 and rising to command the regiment, as regimental lieutenant-colonel in 1800. Until 1855, the officers of regiments of Household Troops bore two ranks, a regimental rank (e.g. captain) and a higher Army rank (e.g. lieutenant-colonel), which meant that they ranked senior to their fellow regimental officers in the Army as a whole. Receiving the brevet rank of colonel in the Army in 1795, Edward progressed steadily by seniority to that of general in 1814. Having been ADC to the CinC West Indies (where his maternal family had connections) 1781-83, he served in Flanders in 1794, commanded the Limerick district in Ireland in the late 1790s, was Governor of Chester 1800-43, Lieutenant-Governor and CinC Jamaica 1809-28 and colonel, successively, of The Prince of Wales’s (Leicester) Fencibles 1800-01, 4th Bn 60th Regiment of Foot 1805-13 and of the 13th Regiment of Foot 1813-43. He married, in 1800, Lady Caroline King, daughter of the 2nd Earl of Kingston, and died at his house in Devonshire Place, London, on 3rd December 1843.

Painted a few years prior to his marriage in 1800, Edridge portrays Morrison in a dynamic style, with storm clouds gathering behind him. The representation is of an officer who has travelled widely (by this date to the West Indies and Flanders), and with his powdered hair looks older than his thirty-five years. Edridge has also not hidden Morrison’s squint.

Born in Paddington in London in 1769, Edridge is well-known for his full-length watercolour portraits which he began painting around 1790, shortly before this portrait miniature was completed. In 1805 he was invited to Windsor to draw the princesses for the queen in this way, and drawings by Edridge in the Royal Collection include portraits of Princesses Augusta, Amelia, Elizabeth and Sophia. Having been rejected as a member of the Royal Academy as a watercolourist (by the exacting Sir Thomas Lawrence) Edridge was finally made an Associate of the Royal Academy a year before his death.

Object History

Provenance: Sotheby’s, London, 1 September 1995, lot 393; Private Collection, UK.

Object Details

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