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    Portrait of John Smeaton

    Date
    ca. 1788
    Sitter
    John Smeaton (1724 - 1792, British) , Civil engineer
    Creator
    Mather Brown (1761 - 1831, American) , Painter
    Object type
    Archive reference number
    Material
    Dimensions
    height (painting): 769mm
    width (painting): 642mm
    Subject
    Content object
    Description
    Half-length portrait of John Smeaton dressed in a grey suit with white shirt and neck-cloth and a short grey wig. Smeaton is shown seated on a red chair, his right hand tucked into his waistcoat. Behind is a view of the Eddystone lighthouse.

    John Smeaton was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1753.
    Transcription
    JOHN SMEATON F.R.S. (1724-92) by MATHER BROWN
    Object history
    Presented by Alexander Aubert FRS (1730-1805), 1799.

    A letter sent at the time of donation has been preserved in the Society’s archives: “I beg leave to present to the Royal Society a Picture of my late much esteemed Friend Mr. John Smeaton, Civil Engineer and Fellow of the Society, whose memory will ever be dear to all Lovers of Science & particularly to those who were acquainted with him it was painted by Mr.Mather Brown a few years before his death & is allowed to be a striking resemblance of him...“ [Letter, Alexander Aubert, 7 November 1799, to Sir Joseph Banks, Royal Society Letters, RSL/3/3].
    Associated place
    <The World>
       > Europe
          > United Kingdom
    Credit
    ©The Royal Society
    Image number
    RS.9720
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