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Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Adam Smith (1723-1790), Political economist

Political economist; b. Kirkcaldy; taught logic and moral philosophy at Glasgow 1751-63, publishing the Theory of Moral Sentiments 1759; travelled in France and Switzerland 1764-66 with the 3rd Duke of Buccleuch; FRS 1767; withdrew to Kirkcaldy 1767-73 where he wrote The Wealth of Nations 1776; commissioner of customs for Scotland in Edinburgh 1778-90.

‘in stature he somewhat exceeded the ordinary size, and his countenance was manly and agreeable’ (William Smellie, 1800).

‘I am a beau in nothing but my books’ (Adam Smith).


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.