Philip Le Hardy de la Garde was the son of an Exeter doctor. He served as a Paymaster Lieutenant in the Royal Navy (RN) until forced to retire early due to ill health. He then returned to Exeter and concentrated more seriously on painting full time. He was forced to take up painting as a hobby whilst serving in the Royal Navy. He was a keen entomologist who collected and wrote extensively on beetles. RAMM has a large collection of his beetles.This view illustrates how the museum's ethnography collection was displayed in 1905. The artist Philip de la Garde, was better known as a collector of beetles. After retiring from the navy he lived locally and devoted more time to his painting.