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  • Title
    [Portrait of Midshipman Edward Riou, 1776 / by Daniel Gardner]
  • Creator
  • Call number
    ML 1263
    Status: On display – Paintings from the Collection, Room 2, West Wall, no. 123
  • Level of description
  • Date

  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Issue Copy
  • Physical Description
    1 painting - oil on canvas - visible oval image approx. 58.0 x 46.5 cm, in oval frame approx. 68.0 x 56.5 cm

    Daniel Gardner (c. 1750-1805), a portrait painter, was born in Kendal, Westmorland. He moved to London around 1767, where he studied at the Royal Academy School from 1770 under teachers including G. B. Cipriani, Benjamin West, and Johan Zoffany. Around 1773 he joined Joshua Reynold's studio as an assistant, and during his brief time there developed an approach to portraiture that he employed throughout his career. He died from a liver complaint on 8 July 1805.

    The subject of the painting, Edward Riou (1762-1801), was born at Mount Ephraim, Faversham, Kent. He joined the Royal Navy at the age of twelve, and in 1776 sailed as a midshipman on the Discovery which accompanied the Resolution on Cook's third voyage to the South Seas. In 1789 he was given command of the frigate Guardian, bound for Port Jackson, carrying convicts and supplies. In December 1789 not far from Marion Island the Guardian struck the spur of a iceberg which tore away her rudder and much of her keel. Half the ship's company took to the boats, with only fifteen surviving. Riou remained with 60 men managing with superb seamanship to sail the damaged ship within sight of the Cape of Good Hope.

    Riou returned to England to find that the Guardian's voyage had made him a popular hero. He was promoted commander and then post captain. He died a hero in the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801.

    Oxford Dictionary of National Biography online edition. http://www.oxforddnb.com/ (accessed September 23, 2011)
  • Collection history
    Held in the Riou family by descent from the sitter until the 1950s when it was acquired by the New Zealand collector Charles Overbury Fox
  • Scope and Content
    A three-quarter head and upper body portrait, in an eighteenth century gilt frame, of Riou as a fourteen year old boy. He is shown wearing midshipman's uniform.
  • Copying Conditions
    Out of copyright: Artist died before 1955
    Please acknowledge:: Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales
  • General note

    Digital order no:Album ID : 954444
  • Signatures / Inscriptions

    Inscribed at lower right 'Edward Riou / 1776'.
    Inscribed in ink on paper label attached to stretcher 'Edward Riou / son of Stephen Riou / killed at Copenhagen / in command of the 'Amazon' / "The Gallant good Riou / of ...[?]'
  • Name
  • Subject
  • Topic
  • Exhibited in

    Paintings from the Collection - State Library of New South Wales (2018)
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