Sir James Edward Smith
- Extended Catalogue Entry
Sir James Edward Smith
by Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey
pencil, circa 1825
16 7/8 in. x 13 3/8 in. (429 mm x 340 mm)
Given by Mrs George Jones, 1871
Artistback to top
- Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey (1781-1841), Sculptor. Artist or producer associated with 267 portraits, Sitter in 11 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Founder of the Linnean Society (1788), Smith was a botanist. His publications include English Botany (1790 - 1814), and Flora Britannica (1800 - 4). This is a drawing for the bust commissioned by members of the Linnean Society, although not everyone thought that a bust by Chantrey would be a suitable commemoration. One commentator wrote, 'I only wish that the Society had thought of some other method of testifying their regard and gratitude: he is so fallen away and … so miserably altered of late, that I cannot wish a memorial to be preserved of his present state.' This drawing shows the marks added to measure the sitter's proportions before they were transferred to the clay model.
The marble bust is at the Linnean Society, London.
Linked publicationsback to top
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- From Pencil to Chisel: Sir Francis Chantrey's Portrait Drawings (2 April 2011 - 20 November 2011)
Portrait setback to top
Events of 1825back to top
Current affairsStrikes, contract breaking and worker intimidation prompt the passing of a new Anti-Trade Union Combination Act to the dismay of economist John McCulloch, MP Joseph Hume and radical Francis Place who had worked for the repeal of the previous year.
Catholic Relief Bill is rejected by the House of Lords.
Art and scienceConstruction of Thames Tunnel begins under the direction of Marc Isambard Brunel.
Stockton to Darlington Railway, the world's first passenger system, opens.
William Hazlitt publishes The Spirit of the Age; twenty-five pen-portraits of his contemporaries in the world of literature, philosophy and politics.
InternationalBeethoven's Ninth Symphony premieres in London.
John Quincy Adams is elected President of the United States.
Become a Member
Enjoy access to special events, discounts on the Gallery online shop, supporters’ updates and much more
Bringing people together by sharing the portraits and stories of the men and women who have shaped our nation.
Sign up to receive information on exhibitions, collections and activities of the National Portrait Gallery, including special offers, shop products, and exclusive competitions.
Tell us more
Framed & unframed prints
Choose your favourite portrait from our Collection as a framed or unframed print for your home.