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james smetham 19th century drawings studies of poultry


James Smetham 19th Century Drawings Studies Of Poultry


£350 | $468 USD | €410 EUR
Item Number: SA848752
Date of manufacture: 19th Century
Current Status: For sale
Seller: Radnorshire Fine Arts Ltd
This antique has been viewed 26 times in the past month with the most views from Finland.


James Smetham (1821-1889)
Poultry (1)
Studies from an album of scraps from sketch books by Jas. Smetham
Poultry: Graphite/pencil and charcoal with coloured chalks on blue paper, variously inscribed in pencil and brown ink ‘Ealing May 14’; 17.5 x 12.5 cm.
Backing paper: Blue Ingres, laid; 27 x 21 cm.
Provenance: A transcript of a letter written by the artist’s daughter will be included in the sale.
James Smetham produced over four hundred paintings during his lifetime. Like his good friend Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who was a major influence on his art, Smetham was a poet as well as a painter. He also wrote criticisms and recorded fascinating details on many celebrated personages of his day. His paintings ranged from portraits to Biblical interpretations, arcadian vignettes and landscapes. Smetham had great hopes and complicated theories about how audiences would understand and buy his art, but he was sadly disappointed with critical response. However, he received praise from some eminent contemporaries like John Ruskin, George Frederick Watts and Dante Gabriel Rossetti who hailed his friends' paintings as "the flower of modern art".
Bound in black with gold letters
229 drawings and watercolours previously pasted to 45 pages, includes one print and one photograph
Compiled by the artist’s daughter, Edie and her siblings in 1878
Inscribed on the frontispiece; Scraps from Sketch Books - Jas. Smetham; variously inscribed throughout the book.
Overall size of album 8 ½ x 4 ½ in. (22 x 14 cm.)
Throughout his life Smetham had suffered from bouts of mental illness but it was in the fall of 1877 that he succumbed to a debilitating attack after which he withdrew from the world, he became delusional and virtually ceased talking. Almost a year had passed since his attack when he received the album. After a decade of emotional and psychological anguish, he died on February 5, 1889.
Three letters written by his daughter Edie accompanied the album, two of the letters are addressed to Sarah her mother and the other is written and addressed to her grandmother in 1878 (during fathers illness). Smetham was being looked after by Sarah at an address in Malvern, Worcestershire. On Oct-78 from the family home in Stoke Newington, and before sending the book Edie wrote a letter to her mother describing how Ted her brother, had mistakenly ordered the album to be bound in black instead of the dark green her mother wanted.
Along with the letters came three typed pages of an exhibition of Smetham’s works. The document starts with a short biography which follows with a comprehensive list of items including letters, books, journals, oil paintings, prints, drawings, watercolours and photographs. Unfortunately, there is no information to say when or where the exhibition was held.
A total of 229 works were removed from the album – some pencil, others pen and ink, chalk, watercolour and bodycolor of various sizes. There are studies of animals and botany, portraits and figure sketches and compositions for pictures, including scenes from the tempest and other romantic and fanciful subjects. His love of nature and literature along with his spiritual and scientific interests are evident in these works, but they also give us some insight into the close connection he had with his family and friends. One of Smetham’s prints are included and a photo of a painted portrait given to the artist is inscribed - to J Smetham from his friend F.J.S. - (Frederick James Shields, 1833-1911).
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This item is antique. The date of manufacture has been declared as 19th Century.


Height = 27 cm (10.6")
Width = 21 cm (8.3")
Depth = 0 cm (0.0")

Seller Details

Radnorshire Fine Arts Ltd
United Kingdom

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