(b London, 7 Mar. 1738; d London, 10 Dec. 1806). English painter and writer. He was part of the first intake of students at the Royal Academy, in January 1769 (even though he was 30 at the time), and from 1789 he taught perspective there (he was a good teacher, but he was controversially denied the title of professor as he was only an ARA, not a full Academician). He painted ‘all manner of subjects’ (Ellis Waterhouse), but his pictures are now forgotten and he is remembered rather for his Anecdotes of Painters Who Have Resided or Been Born in England, posthumously published in 1808, which was intended as a continuation of Horace Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting in England. In the introduction to a facsimile reprint published in 1970, R. W. Lightbown describes Edwards as ‘a just biographer and a temperate critic’, although some contemporaries thought he had been hard on James Barry. Edwards also wrote A Practical Treatise of Perspective (1803).
From The Oxford Dictionary of Art in Oxford Reference.