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Creator:
John Smart, 1741–1811, British
Title:

General Stevenson

Date:
1796
Medium:
Watercolor and gouache on ivory
Dimensions:
Image: 3 x 2 1/2 inches (7.6 x 6.4 cm) and Frame: 3 1/2 x 2 3/4 x 1/4 inches (8.9 x 7 x 0.6 cm)
Inscription(s)/Marks/Lettering:

Signed and dated in gray watercolor lower left: "JS | 1796"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
B1974.2.99
Classification:
Drawings & Watercolors-Miniatures
Collection:
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
portrait
Access:
Accessible by request in the Study Room [Request]
Note: The Study Room is open to Yale ID holders by appointment. Please visit the Study Room page on our website for more details.
Link:
https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:11650
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Smart's restrained and meticulous style of portraiture seems to have been particularly appealing to men, and he received a considerable number of commissions from military officers. In 1785, capitalizing on the commercial opportunities offered by the British presence in India, he set up a portrait studio in Madras, where his sitters included members of the British army as well as famous local figures including the Nawab of Arcot and the captive sons of Tippoo Sultan. Smart may have met James Stevenson in Madras, though this miniature is dated 1796, the year after the artist's return to London. The toughness implicit in Smart's austere portrait, mitigated only by the hint of a sardonic smile, is borne out by the sitter's military career. Stevenson was second in command to Arthur Wellesley, later the Duke of Wellington, during Wellesley's campaign against the Marathas in India in 1802-3. He played an important role in the decisive Battle of Assaye on 24 September 1803, which Wellesley's troops won against considerable odds and with enormous casualties. Gillian Forrester John Baskett, Paul Mellon's Legacy: a Passion for British art: Masterpieces from the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, cat. no. 45, N5220 M552 P38 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

John Baskett, Paul Mellon's Legacy: a Passion for British Art: Masterpieces from the Yale Center for British Art, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, p. 262, no. 45, pl. 45, N5220 M552 P38 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Morna O'Neill, Company Culture:, British Artists and the East India Company 1770-1830: October 16, 2003-January 11, 2004 , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2003, no. 12, V 1199 (YCBA)

Paul Mellon's Legacy, a passion for British art. [large print labels] , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, v. 2, no. 45, N5220 M552 +P381 2007, Mellon Shelf (YCBA)

Scott Wilcox, Line of beauty : British drawings and watercolors of the eighteenth century, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2001, p.35, cat. no. 25, NC228 W53 2001 (YCBA)


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