5,637 visitors today 0 antiques added today
Relevant Categories
antique photo
Choose an antique category or upload an image to Visual Search

Acolytes By James Smetham (1821-1889) Drawing 19th Century


£360 | $438 USD | €414 EUR
Item Number: SA908959
Date of manufacture: 19th Century
Current Status: For sale
Seller: Radnorshire Fine Arts Ltd
This antique has been viewed 22 times in the past month with the most views from Finland.


Studies from an album of scraps from sketch books by Jas. Smetham.
Acolytes: Graphite/pencil on white wove paper. Backing paper: Blue Ingres, laid (1). Inscribed ‘Acolytes’ in pencil on the original backing paper from the album.
Sheet: 13.5 x 10.8 cm.
Backing paper: 27 x 21 cm.
Provenance: A transcript of a letter written by the artist’s daughter will be included in the sale.
Please note; the illustrated watercolour is not included in the sale and is in the collection of the British Museum.
This drawing has been cleaned by an accredited paper conservator.
This accomplished drawing is a study for a watercolour or painting traditionally known as ‘The Knight’s Bridal’ or ‘The King’s Bridal’ painted by Smetham c. 1865. The watercolour in the collection of the British Museum can presumably be identified with the watercolour entitled 'The Knight's Bridal' included in both lists of the artist's works under the date 1865, purchased for 10 guineas by a Mr F. Stead: The dimensions given, 15 by 12 inches, are greater than those of the British Museum drawing (11 3/8 by 10). An oil-painting of the same size, entitled 'The Knight's Vow', is listed immediately afterwards. However, in Susan Casteras book on Smetham, the picture titled ‘The Knight’s Bridal’ illustrated on page 88, shows two Rossettian figures suspended during a bridal ceremony. The title for this picture seems more appropriate although it could be one from a series.
In the later 1850s Smetham's technique was temporarily influenced by Pre-Raphaelite realism (as in his 'Naboth's Vineyard' of 1856, in the Tate Gallery). 'The Knight's Bridal' is clearly inspired by Rossetti's 'chivalric' watercolours, Smetham's enthusiasm for which is shown by his often-quoted description of 'The Marriage of St George' as: "a golden, dim dream. Love "credulous all gold", gold armour, a sense of secret enclosure in "palace chambers far apart"; but quaint chambers in quaint palace's where angels creep in through sliding panel doors, and stand behind rows of flowers, drumming on golden bells, with wings crimson and green".
James Smetham (1821-1889)
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".
All our prices include FREE packing and delivery within the UK.
For delivery costs outside of the UK please contact us with your shipping address so we can provide options and prices.
PayPal /Card transactions can be processed through PayPal on our company website. We also accept payment by cheque and bank transfer. Deferred payments can be accepted over an agreed period of time whilst paintings remain with us.


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

International Tel:

Email seller about this item:

Link to this item

Similar antiques ... view more

Other relevant categories