Inscribed and dated on fragments of the original mount attached to reverse of frame: Ruins of Clun Castle Montgomeryshire./June 24th. 1792, watercolour over pencil on paper watermarked J WHATMAN
14.7 x 22.5 cm; 5 ¾ x 9 inches
Framed size 38.5 x 46 cm.; 15 ¼ x 18 inches
Lowell Libson Ltd, London, Watercolours and Drawings, 16 November – 9 December 2005, no. 16
This drawing was part of a group on the market in 2005, many of which were views of Wales. Smith seems to have been fascinated by the Welsh countryside and dated drawings, often inscribed ‘taken on the spot’, point to visits nearly every year from 1784-1798, after his return from Italy.
The artist was born in Cumberland and patronised by 2nd Earl of Warwick who sponsored his travels to Italy in 1776 and whose name became the artist’s sobriquet. Smith spent five years in Rome and Naples, befriending William Pars and Thomas Jones, in whose Memoirs he is frequently referenced. He travelled home in 1781 through Switzerland with Francis Towne and was among the most admired watercolourists of his day.