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Smart, John

SMART, JOHN (c. 1740-1811), English miniature painter, was born in Norfolk; he became a pupil of Cosway, and is frequently alluded to in his correspondence. This artist was director and vice-president of the Incorporated Society of Artists, and exhibited with that society. He went to India in 1 788 and obtained a number of commissions in that country. He settled down in London in 1797 and there died. He married Edith Vere, and is believed to have had only one son, who died in Madras in 1809. He was a little man, of simple habits, and a member of the Society of Sandemanians. Many of his pencil drawings still exist in the possession of the descendants of a great friend of his only sister. Several of his miniatures are in Australia and belong to a cadet branch of the family. His work is entirely different to that of Cosway, quiet and grey in its colouring, with the flesh tints elaborated with much subtlety and modelled in exquisite fashion. He possessed a great knowledge of anatomy, and his portraits are drawn with greater anatomical accuracy and possess more distinction than those of any miniature painter of his time.

See The History of Portrait Miniatures, by G. C. Williamson, vol. ii. (London, 1904). (G. C. W.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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