John Raphael Smith thumbnail 1
John Raphael Smith thumbnail 2
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Sculpture, Room 22, The Dorothy and Michael Hintze Galleries

John Raphael Smith

Bust
1825 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

John Raphael Smith (1751-1812), a famous printmaker and print publisher, was a patron of the sculptor. He was also deaf, and Chantrey was reported as saying that 'the expression of deafness was conveyed principally by the mouth. If you observe a deaf man's mouth, you will always find the lips unclosed when he is attending to you'.

Although the bust is dated some 13 years after Smith's death, it was probably based on a model made during his lifetime. Smith was to have a significant influence on Chantrey, whom he met when he was an apprentice to a restorer and picture-framer. Later, when Chantrey moved to London, Smith helped by introducing him to potential patrons.

Sir Francis Legatt Chantrey (1781-1842) was an English sculptor, painter, and patron. He was probably the most successful portrait sculptor of his day. Together with Flaxman Chantrey can be ranked as England's greatest sculptor engaging in portrait busts and statues. He was particularly skilled in carving drapery. On his death he left a fortune of £150,000 which was later bequeathed to the Royal Academy to be used for the 'Encouragement of British Fine Art in Painting and Sculpture'.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Marble
Brief description
Bust, marble, of John Raphael Smith, by Sir Francis Legatt Chantrey, England, 1825
Physical description
Signed and dated on the back.
Dimensions
  • Height: 66cm
Marks and inscriptions
'CHANTREY, S.C./1825' (signed and dated on the back)
Gallery label
Sir Francis Chantrey (1781–1841) Bust of John Raphael Smith (1751–1812) Signed and dated 1825 John Raphael Smith was a well-known printmaker and print publisher. Smith, who was deaf, supported the career of Chantrey by introducing him to potential patrons when the sculptor first moved to London. Chantrey then became the most successful portrait sculptor of his day. He dated this portrait some 13 years after Smith’s death but based it on a plaster model made in 1811, during the sitter’s lifetime. London Marble(2021)
Object history
Commissioned by Sir Simon Clarke Bt.; an entry in Chantrey's ledger on 16 December 1827 records the cost of the bust, £105, but it was still in Chantrey's studio on 14 February 1835. Given by Mrs O. Stuart Andreae and her sister Miss South, Kenna House, Kensington Palace Gardens, London in 1920.
Subject depicted
Summary
John Raphael Smith (1751-1812), a famous printmaker and print publisher, was a patron of the sculptor. He was also deaf, and Chantrey was reported as saying that 'the expression of deafness was conveyed principally by the mouth. If you observe a deaf man's mouth, you will always find the lips unclosed when he is attending to you'.



Although the bust is dated some 13 years after Smith's death, it was probably based on a model made during his lifetime. Smith was to have a significant influence on Chantrey, whom he met when he was an apprentice to a restorer and picture-framer. Later, when Chantrey moved to London, Smith helped by introducing him to potential patrons.



Sir Francis Legatt Chantrey (1781-1842) was an English sculptor, painter, and patron. He was probably the most successful portrait sculptor of his day. Together with Flaxman Chantrey can be ranked as England's greatest sculptor engaging in portrait busts and statues. He was particularly skilled in carving drapery. On his death he left a fortune of £150,000 which was later bequeathed to the Royal Academy to be used for the 'Encouragement of British Fine Art in Painting and Sculpture'.
Bibliographic references
  • Whinney, Margaret. English Sculpture 1720-1830. London : H.M.S.O., 1971, p. 148
  • Potts, Alex and Pettman, Mary (eds) Sir Francis Chantrey, 1781-1841 : Sculptor of the Great. London: National Portrait Gallery, 1981, cat.10
  • Whinney, Margaret. Sculpture in Britain 1530 to 1830. 2nd ed. London, 1988, p. 422, pl. 314
  • Penny, Nicholas. Catalogue of European Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum, 1540 to the present day. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992, vol.3, p.244
  • Yarrington, Alison, et al. The fifty-sixth volume of the Walpole Society : 1991/1992. An edition of the ledger of Sir Francis Chantrey, R.A. at the Royal Academy, 1809-1841. London: Printed for the Walpole Society, 1994, p. 200, no. 176b.
  • Bilbey, Diane and Trusted, Marjorie. British Sculpture 1470- 2000. A Concise Catalogue of the Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2002, p. 235-236, cat. no. 258
  • Rosenblum, Robert. Citizens and Kings: Portraits in the Age of Revolution, 1760-1830. London: Royal Academy of Arts, 2007, cat.83
Collection
Accession number
A.15-1920

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Record createdAugust 14, 2006
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