Colored pencil and chalk on toned paper
26 x 35 inches
James Smetham was, like his friend Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his hero William Blake, both a painter and writer. His paintings, which number over four hundred, ranged from portraits to Biblical interpretations to arcadian vignettes and landscapes. This prolific painter, somewhat neglected today, counted among his his Pre-Raphaelite associates Dante Gabriel Rossetti (with whom he collaborated), John Ruskin (who encouraged and advised him), Ford Madox Brown and Frederic James Shields. A mystical figure with a deeply religious bent, Smetham remains one of the most intriguing figures of the Victorian period.