Two Princes by Herbert Blande Sparks

Oil on Canvas, signed by Initial (H. B. S.) at lower left. We’ve attributed this work to Herbert Blande Sparks.
Oil on Canvas

Sparks was one of the U.K.’s Victorian artists. He painted in oils and apparently had the habit of putting his paint brushes in his mouth …. this caused his early death by poisoning in 1916 at the age of 46. The painting is of the “Princes in the Tower,” Edward V of England (November 4, 1470 – 1483?) and his brother, Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York (17 August 1473 – 1483?), were the two young sons of Edward IV of England and Elizabeth Woodville who were declared illegitimate by Richard III’s Act of Parliament known as Titulus Regius. Their uncle, Richard III of England, placed them both in the Tower of London (then a royal residence as well as a prison) in 1483. There are reports of their early presence in the courtyards etc, but there are no records of them having been seen after the summer of 1483. Their fate remains unknown, and it is presumed that they either died or were killed there. More can be read about the story of Princes in the Tower from the Wikipedia. A similar painting is by Sir John Everett Millais and part of the Royal Holloway picture collection. This painting is testament to Sparks skill as a painter, although somewhat darker than his other works which more typically use Victorian women in light colors as subjects. A label on the back reads J. A. P. Daborn, 9 The Broadway, Mill Hill N. W. 7, etc.


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