Home » People » Edward King
Tags: 1862, 1904, Blitz, Bomb Damage, Connaught Drill Hall, Edward King, Kensington, Milton, Public Catalogue Foundation, Royal Academy, St James Hospital, Stanhope Road
The painter Edward King is connected to Portsmouth through his time as a patient at St James Hospital in Milton and is notable for painting scenes of the blitzed city.Born in Kensington in 1862, the son of a banker, King studied art and the violin in Leipzig. When Edward returned to England, he focused on his real passion, which was painting, particularly in watercolour. His illustrations began to appear in journals such as Punch and the Illustrated London News. By 1904 he had exhibited 54 paintings at the Royal Academy.
King moved to South Harting near Petersfield with his brother in 1884 where he eventually married. However, when in 1924 Edward’s wife Amelia died of consumption he suffered a breakdown as a result. King was committed to St James Hospital in 1925, where he lived until he died of a stroke in 1951.During his time at the hospital, King continued to paint and draw, encouraged by the staff to try and help alleviate his depression. He became a familiar figure in the area as he sat painting scenes of houseboats or the hospital farm. After the Blitz, Denis Daley Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, commissioned Edward King to paint the bomb damage to the city. King went out each day, with an attendant and painted a series of over 30 scenes that graphically show the war torn state of the city.
The Edward King painting above shows The Connaught Drill Hall, Stanhope Road. It was one victim of a heavy air raid on 10th January 1941. There were 171 people killed in this, the most damaging raid of the war, 430 injured and the homes of some 3000 people destroyed. The Guidhall and Commercial Road, Kings Road and Palmerston Road shopping centres were also burnt down.
Further works by Edward King can be accessed via the Public Catalogue Foundation website.