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Robert Smirke

Robert Smirke, by Edward Hodges Baily, circa 1828 -NPG 4525 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Regency Portraits Catalogue

Robert Smirke

attributed to Edward Hodges Baily
circa 1828
24 in. (610 mm) high
NPG 4525

This portraitback to top

Baily exhibited a marble bust of Smirke at the RA 1828 (1169) for which the NPG plaster is possibly a model. It was described by his son Sir Edward Smirke as a 'marble bust made for Sir Thos Lawrence, the best and most important portrait of my father' (letter to Scharf 15 January 1868 in NPG archive, there attributing it to Behnes probably in error for Baily). T. W. Carrick's vivid account of how the bust of one of Wigton's famous sons was thrown away and he insisted on saving it for posterity is in a letter in the NPG archive; it was then that its pedestal was damaged.

Provenanceback to top

Presented by Sydney Smirke to Wigton Mechanics' Club; acquired by Wigton British Legion 1945; rescued from destruction by T. W. Carrick, Clerk to Wigton Parish Council, and housed in the Parish Council offices; bought from Mr Carrick 1966.

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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