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95/141/1 Miniature portrait, 'General Sir Ralph Darling', [watercolour on ivory] / gold, made by Henry Edridge, England, c 1805. Click to enlarge.

Miniature portrait of General Sir Ralph Darling

The size of this miniature painting of Governor Ralph Darling demonstrates the portable nature of the work, reflecting a time prior to photography when people would carry a likeness of their family or relatives.

The miniature as an artform became obsolete in the 1850s with the introduction of photography. Prior to that the miniature was used for intimate and portable likenesses. This portrait of Darling may well have travelled to Australia in 1825 when Darling took up the position of …


Object No.


Object Statement

Miniature portrait, 'General Sir Ralph Darling', [watercolour on ivory] / gold, made by Henry Edridge, England, c 1805

Physical Description

Miniature,'General Sir Ralph Darling', oval gold frame, 64mm high. Portrait depicts Darling wearing red staff uniform with blue facings, gold lace and epaulettes.

Portrait miniature, possibly watercolour, applied in thin layers on a transluscent piece of oval [ivory]. Image in vivid colours, of man with greying hair, red military tunic, blue facings & gold epaulettes. Ground is a brown/tan shading. Reverse has dark brown cloth backing. All sealed in oval gold coloured frame.


Paper sticker on reverse, "153".



Possibly painted for Sir Ralph Darling (1775-1858), military officer and governor. He entered the 45th Regiment as an Ensign in 1793 and served in the West Indies until 1802. He was promoted captain in 1796, major in 1800, and lieutenant colonel in 1801. He became senior assistant adjutant-general at the Horse Guards in August 1806. In 1808 he served in Spain with the 51st Regiment. He became major-general in 1813 and deputy-adjutant general in 1814. In 1819 he went to Mauritius as military governor. Darling was appointed Governor of New South Wales in 1824; promoted to lieut-general in 1825, arriving in Australia in November 1825.


Credit Line

Purchased 1995

Acquisition Date

25 May 1995

Cite this Object


Miniature portrait of General Sir Ralph Darling 2022, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 3 February 2023, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Miniature portrait of General Sir Ralph Darling |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=3 February 2023 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}