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Lot 76: James Smetham (1821-1889)

The Nicolette Wernick Collection British Watercolours and Paintings (1800-1950)

by Christie's

June 16, 2010

London, United Kingdom

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Description: James Smetham (1821-1889)
A wayfarer resting by a lake
signed and dated 'J. Smetham. 1865' (lower left)
pencil, pen and brown ink and watercolour heightened with white, and with scratching out on paper
4 7/8 x 6¾ in. (12.3 x 17.2 cm.)

Notes: VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 17.5% on the buyer's premium.
Smetham is one of the most exciting associates of The Pre-Raphaelites. The son of a Wesleyan minister, he was inspired to be an artist by meeting Peter de Wint while living in Lincolnshire and his enthusiasm later fired by reading Ruskin's Modern Painters. He met Ruskin and Rossetti in 1854, however he rejected the pursuit of minute particulars which defined Pre-Raphaelitism; instead he envisaged a magical world suffused with colour. He took his subjects from the Bible, literature and fable, sometimes adopting a Symbolist bent.

Provenance: Carol Johnson; Christie's, London, 24 March 1981, lot 171, with 'The Door was shut (The Seven Foolish Virgins)'.

Exhibited: Springfield, 1988, no. 38.

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