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Sydney Smith

3 of 9 portraits of Sydney Smith

Sydney Smith, by Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, circa 1835 - NPG 4917 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Sydney Smith

by Sir Edwin Henry Landseer
pen and wash, circa 1835
9 3/8 in. x 7 3/8 in. (239 mm x 187 mm)
Purchased, 1972
Primary Collection
NPG 4917

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Sitterback to top

  • Sydney Smith (1771-1845), Wit and Canon of St Paul's. Sitter associated with 9 portraits.

Artistback to top

This portraitback to top

When asked to sit for a formal portrait by Landseer, he is reported to have replied 'Is thy servant a dog, that he should do this thing?' Landseer got his revenge with this caricature. Smith's obesity and French tastes are exaggerated, while the corpulent friar and impish devil may allude to his controversial parallel roles as churchman and political firebrand.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Rogers, Malcolm, Master Drawings from the National Portrait Gallery, 1993 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 5 August to 23 October 1994), p. 111
  • Walker, Richard, Regency Portraits, 1985, p. 461

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