John Raphael Smith (1751–1812)
“Contemplating the Picture”
Stipple engraving printed in colours
Unrecorded proof state before final lettering
Published by the artist
37 cm x 30 cm (Framed)
A depiction, within an oval format, of a fashionably dressed woman with a large bow in her hair, slouched in an armchair at a writing desk looking wistfully at a miniature portrait painting held in her right hand, attached to a long ribbon. Lettered beneath the image only with the artist's details "J.R. Smith Delint". Well framed in a good 19th Century gilt-gesso frame.
The image suggests various narratives to the viewer as we observe the young lady, wrapped-up in her own contemplative thoughts as she observes the image of the person in the miniature.
See National Trust Collection, Trerice, Cornwall [NT 336716] for a version of the engraving also with the artist's publication line but with the further title beneath. Copies in final published state are dated "Novr 14th 1785".
Not recorded in this state. For a full description with two previously recorded states see Item 90, p.97 of Julia Frankau "An Eighteenth Century Artist & Engraver: John Raphael Smith His Life and Works", London, Macmillan & Co., 1902
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