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Robert Smirke

Robert Smirke, by John Jackson; Mary Smirke, engraved 1814, based on a work of circa 1810 -NPG 2672 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Regency Portraits Catalogue

Robert Smirke

by John Jackson, after Mary Smirke
engraved 1814, based on a work of circa 1810
8 1/2 in. x 7 in. (216 mm x 178 mm)
NPG 2672

This portraitback to top

Mary Smirke painted and drew portraits of many of her family. She exhibited mainly landscapes at the RA 1809-14 and her oil portrait of her father, head and shoulders in a black coat, was lent to Third Exhibition of National Portraits, South Kensington, 1868 (137) by her brother the architect Sydney Smirke. R. E. Graves in his Dictionary of National Biography article of 1897-8 says it was still in the Smirke family possession at that time. Jackson's drawing of it shows the sitter wearing a coat with the M-cut in the lapel fashionable from 1805 onwards; it was one of a series he was working on from 1809 for Cadell's British Gallery of Contemporary Portraits and first published as an engraving in 1814. A similar drawing attributed to Dance and dated 1810 but very probably also by Mary Smirke was at Sotheby's 25 May 1955 (49).

Physical descriptionback to top

Head and shoulders to left aged 50-60, grey hair, grey eyes, pale complexion, smiling expression; Meatyard's collector's stamp lower left.

Provenanceback to top

F. W. Fox and his sale Christie's 22 June 1934 (65) bought Meatyard for the NPG.

Reproductionsback to top

Stipple by C. Picart 'From an original Picture by Miss Smirke Drawn by J. Jackson', published 2 May 1814 in Cadell's Contemporary Portraits, 1822, II, 127.


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Walker, Regency Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 1985, 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.

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