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Edwin and Emma

Photo credit: The Bowes Museum

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John Downman produced some of the prettiest and most elegant of eighteenth-century portraits. He mainly worked in chalk and watercolour, but was also accomplished in oils. Downman was a pupil of Benjamin West and worked almost entirely on portrait heads and albums of drawings. The subject of this painting refers to the story of star-crossed lovers from Teesdale described in David Mallet’s poem ‘The Ballad of Edwin and Emma’ which had been published in 1760.

The Bowes Museum

Barnard Castle




oil on canvas


H 44 x W 59 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased, 1975

Work type


Normally on display at

The Bowes Museum

Barnard Castle, County Durham DL12 8NP England

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