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ArtistRobert Smirke (1753-1845)
TitleA Scene from Samuel Foote's Play "Taste"
Date
MediumOil on canvas
ProvenanceCollection of Sir Alec Martin (1884-1971; Chairman of Christie’s, London, 1940-58; Chairman of the Wallace Collection, London; Governor of the Foundling Hospital, London); from whom purchased by Leicester Galleries, London; from whom purchased by the Ministry of Works in May 1963, as ‘A Scene from Foot’s Comedy of Errors’
Dimensionsheight: 35.50 cm, width: 44.50 cm
Inscriptionnone
AcquisitionPurchased from Leicester Galleries, April 1963
LocationGovernment Hospitality, Lancaster House (London, UK)
GAC number6054
 
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Robert Smirke was born in Wigton, Carlisle. He was brought to London by his father in 1766 and apprenticed to a coach painter named Bromley. He entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1772 and exhibited at the Academy from 1786 to 1800, in 1805 and in 1815. He became an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1791 and a full Royal Academician two years later. Smirke specialised in unusually small scale scenes from literary or theatrical subjects, and his works are often humorous. His radical and revolutionary opinions led George III to bar his appointment as Keeper of the Royal Academy in 1804. The artist died at the age of 92 at his home in Osnaburgh Terrace, near Regent's Park, London.