||12 x 15
Inside a Stable (larger print)
Moving the Flock
in Derby England in 1752 John Raphael Smith was
the youngest son of the landscape artist Thomas
Smith. He began his career painting miniatures
and although he continued to paint in oils and
pastels throughout his life he made his fortune
as an engraver after opening his own shop selling
mezzotints in 1773. Many of the mezzotints Smith
exhibited at the Royal Academy were copied from
paintings by academicians such as Joshua Reynolds
and George Romney and he was widely regarded as
one of the finest engravers of the late 18th
century. In 1784 Smith was appointed official
engraver to the Prince of Wales later George IV.
Despite a reputation as a hard drinking 'bon
viveur' Smith had a good head for business and
sometime around 1790 persuaded his friend George
Morland to give him control over publication of
Morland's low life rural scenes which were by far
his most popular. These were probably the most
sort after prints of the late 18th century and
helped Smith become extremely wealthy although
they did little for Morland himself who was to
die destitute in 1804. In order to adapt his
style to the artist he was copying Smith would
often paint a number of versions of a particular
painting. Morland first painted 'Milkmaid and
Cowherd' in 1792 and this version by Smith would
have been painted shortly afterwards. It differs
from the original only in that Morland painted
pasture to the left of the painting (the view
through the fence) as opposed to water in Smith's
and Cowherd (after George Morland).
Attributed to John Raphael Smith 1752-1812.
Bears label verso. Oil on canvas.
Image size 17 X 21inches (43 X 53cms).
Milkmaid and Cowherd