The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Edward Armitage, 1817-1896

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1817.05.20
Place of Birth: London
Date of Death: 1896.05.24
Place of Death: Tunbridge Wells


Edward Armitage was a London painter of biblical, historical and classical genre subjects and allegories.


Armitage studied under Paul Delaroche in Paris in 1837, assisting him in the decoration of the hemicycle in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He made his début at the Salon in 1842. He won many prizes and competitions, including a £300 prize in the 1843 Westminster Hall Competition for his Landing of Julius Caesar. In 1845 he won a £200 prize for his cartoon The Spirit of Religion.

He executed two frescoes for the final decoration of the new Houses of Parliament and became an active supportor of the revival of fresco painting in Britain. Other frescoes can be found in Marylebone Parish Church and St Francis Chapel in Islington. In 1847 his Battle of Meance won a £500 prize and was bought by the Queen. From 1849 to 1851 he was in Rome. He also visited the Crimea during the Russian war. From 1848 to 1893 he exhibited at the Royal Academy in London, the Royal Society of Artists in Birmingham, Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, Manchester City Gallery and Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin.

His style of painting was similar to that of Edwin Long.

He was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1867, becoming a full member in 1872. He became a lecturer and was appointed professor of painting at the Royal Academy in 1875.


Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, Paris, 1956-61; Wood, Christopher, Dictionary of Victorian Artists, Woodbridge, 1971; Johnson, J. and A. Gruetzner, Dictionary of British Artists 1880-1940, Woodbridge, 1980; (accessed 2003).