Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Ashfield, Edmund

ASHFIELD, EDMUND (fl. 1680–1700), a portrait-painter, descended from a good family, was a pupil of Joseph Michael Wright. He worked both in oil and in crayons, but excelled most in the latter method. Vertue mentions a neatly painted head by him of Sir John Bennett, afterwards Lord Ossulston. He appears to have been also a copyist, for there are at Burghley House portraits of Frances, Countess of Warwick, and of Mary, Lady Herbert, afterwards Duchess of Richmond and Lennox, after Van Dyck, which are finished with extreme delicacy. His crayon drawings were highly finished, and characterised by the harmonious blending of the tints, of which he multiplied the number and variety, black and white only having hitherto chiefly been employed, the paper forming the middle tint. He practised from about 1680 to 1700, about which time he died. He was the instructor of E. Lutterell, whose works in crayons are superior to those of his master.

[Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting, ed. Wornum, ii. 475; Redgrave's Dictionary of Artists of the English School, 1878; Waagen's Treasures of Art in Great Britain, iii. 408.]

R. E. G.