Sir Matthew Smith
Sir Matthew Smith
by Cecil Beaton
bromide print, circa 1942
9 3/8in. x 6 7/8in. (238 mm x 173 mm)
Accepted in lieu of tax by H.M. Government and allocated to the Gallery, 1991
Sitterback to top
- Sir Matthew Smith (1879-1959), Painter. Sitter in 6 portraits, Artist of 4 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Cecil Beaton (1904-1980), Photographer, designer and writer. Artist associated with 1112 portraits, Sitter associated with 361 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Cecil Beaton met Smith during the war, when the photographer was working on a series of portraits of English painters. Beaton recalled the meeting in his autobiography: 'After seeing so many of his robust paintings of meaty great nudes and violently sensuous “still life,” I had expected Matthew Smith to be a perfect Herculean. How very different from my imaginings was the pale, thin and wiry little individual, peering like a small animal through thick glasses.'
Beaton persuaded Smith to be photographed 'in the late-Victorian manner with cloak and stick'. This photograph was published several years later, in British Vogue (1948).
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Colour, Light, Texture: Portraits by Matthew Smith and Frank Dobson (5 August 2014 - 6 April 2015)
Events of 1942back to top
Current affairsThe Oxford Committee for Famine Relief is founded in Oxford with the aim of sending food through the Allied blockade of Nazi-Occupied Greece. The organisation continued after the war to relieve suffering as a result of the war in Europe, and eventually to help distressed peoples internationally. It gradually became known as Oxfam, after its telegraph address, and is now one of the largest international development and aid agencies.
Art and scienceDesert Island Discs is broadcast for the first time. Each week a famous guest is invited to select which eight pieces of music they would choose to take if they were castaway on an island. The show is still going and is the longest running music programme on radio.
Enid Blyton publishes her first Famous Five children's book: Five On A Treasure Island.
InternationalThe Allied forces sign the 'Declaration by United Nations', pledging the signatories to fight together until the end of the war and establishing an international organisation with the aim of upholding world peace and security with Sir Gladwyn Jebb as the first Secretary General.
In Berlin, senior Nazis plan the 'Final Solution' to exterminate European Jews, and start building death camps to carry it out.
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