The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Elizabeth Ruth Edwards, ca 1833- d.1907

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1833 ca
Place of Birth:
Date of Death: 1907.05.30
Place of Death: 7 Cavendish Place, Marylebone, London


Elizabeth Ruth Edwards, née Enscombe, was the wife of Edwin Edwards, who she married in 1852. Her niece Anna Edwards, of Summer Hill, Shanklin, Isle of Wight, registered her death, stating Edwards was 'aged 74'.


Elizabeth Ruth Edwards was Fantin-Latour's British agent. She was instrumental in her husband's decision to give up his legal career in order to become an artist. Fantin-Latour often visited the Edwards at Sunbury-on-Thames during the 1860s and he painted Ruth sevaral times, including H. Fantin-Latour, Portrait de Madame Edwin Edwards (FL.236)(z307). By 1872, the Edwards were virtually Fantin-Latour's sole agent in Britain, but their friendship had cooled. This was perhaps due to Ruth's single-mindedness in pursuit of art dealing, to the detriment of personal relationships with Fantin-Latour. The double portrait which marked this cool relationship between painter and sitters, Mr and Mrs Edwin Edwards (FL.738), 1875, was shown at the Royal Academy in 1876, where its colouring was compared to Whistler's, although he thought that Fantin-Latour's earlier painting was better.


Druick, Douglas and Michel Hoog, Fantin-Latour, Paris, 1982.