This pastel portrait of the celebrated Whig radical, Charles James Fox is possibly that exhibited at the Royal Academy of 1802 by John Raphael Smith. John Raphael Smith was born in Derby in 1752 and was apprenticed initially to a linen draper. He began painting miniatures and scraped his first mezzotint in 1769, eventually becoming the most celebrated engraver of the period. On abandoning mezzotint engraving in 1802, Smith devoted himself exclusively to portraiture in pastel. This provided him with a lucrative practise, drawing some forty sitters a week at two guineas a head. Even when he increased his prices to eight guineas there was no fall in demand. His patrons included prominent Whigs such as the Duke of Bedford, Lord Holland and Sir Francis Burdett. Smith's portraits of Fox are considered to be amongst the finest of these. When exhibited at the Academy of 1802, it was described by the Library of the Fine Arts, as at once simple...

Read more

This pastel portrait of the celebrated Whig radical, Charles James Fox is possibly that exhibited at the Royal Academy of 1802 by John Raphael Smith. John Raphael Smith was born in Derby in 1752 and was apprenticed initially to a linen draper. He began painting miniatures and scraped his first mezzotint in 1769, eventually becoming the most celebrated engraver of the period. On abandoning mezzotint engraving in 1802, Smith devoted himself exclusively to portraiture in pastel. This provided him with a lucrative practise, drawing some forty sitters a week at two guineas a head. Even when he increased his prices to eight guineas there was no fall in demand. His patrons included prominent Whigs such as the Duke of Bedford, Lord Holland and Sir Francis Burdett. Smith's portraits of Fox are considered to be amongst the finest of these. When exhibited at the Academy of 1802, it was described by the Library of the Fine Arts, as at once simple and dignified; in action easy and natural, and in resemblance perhaps the most perfect that has appeared. The artist subsequently produced a number of versions of the composition both in pastels and oil. One formerly in the collection of J.Thursby-Pelham (24 3/8 x 17 3/8 ins.) is extremely close to the present one but lacks some of its vitality. This pastel was executed in around 1802, towards the end of Fox's distinguished and turbulent political career. The composition was engraved by Samuel Reynolds and became amongst the best known images of Fox. 1. Quoted in The Connoisseur, XCIII, Feb. 1934, p.98. 2. Revolution of 1688.

Receive information about exhibitions, news & events.

We will process the personal data you have supplied in accordance with our privacy policy. You can unsubscribe or change your preferences at any time by clicking the link in any emails.
Close

Basket

No items found
Close

Your saved list

This list allows you to enquire about a group of works.
No items found
Close
Mailing list signup

Get exclusive updates from Philip Mould Gallery

Close

Sign up for updates

Artwork enquiry

Receive newsletters

In order to respond to your enquiry, we will process the personal data you have supplied in accordance with our privacy policy. You can unsubscribe or change your preferences at any time by clicking the link in any emails.

Close
Search
Close
Close
500 Years of British Art