Smith, Charles (1749?-1824) (DNB00)

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SMITH, CHARLES (1749?–1824), painter, born about 1749, was a native of the Orkneys and a nephew of Caleb Whitefoord [q. v.] After studying at the Royal Academy, where he was befriended by Sir Joshua Reynolds, he attempted to establish himself as a portrait-painter in London, but lost his patrons in consequence of his extreme and violently expressed political opinions. About 1783 he went to India, where he remained some years, and after his return styled himself ‘painter to the Great Mogul.’ From 1789 to 1797 Smith resided chiefly in London, and was an exhibitor at the Royal Academy, sending mythological and fancy compositions as well as portraits. In October 1798 a musical entertainment entitled ‘A Day at Rome,’ written by Smith, was unsuccessfully performed at Covent Garden Theatre, and he subsequently printed it. In 1802 he published ‘A Trip to Bengal, a musical entertainment.’ He died at Leith on 19 Dec. 1824. A portrait of Smith, in oriental dress, painted by himself, was mezzotinted by S. W. Reynolds, and a small plate, also by Reynolds from the same picture, is prefixed to his ‘Trip to Bengal.’

[Miller's Biogr. Sketches; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Royal Academy Cat.]

F. M. O'D.