Edward Smyth (1749-1812) seated holding a drawing instrument.
Edward Smyth (1749-1812) seated holding a drawing instrument.
Edward Smyth (1749-1812) seated holding a drawing instrument.

JOHN COMERFORD (1770-1832)

Edward Smyth (1749-1812) seated holding a drawing instrument.

c. 1800 Ireland

Offered by Ellison Fine Art

£6,500 gbp
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A drawing of Smyth by Comerford was engraved in stipple by Henry Hoppner Meyer (1783-1847)The head on Woodhouse's medal to Smyth was taken from this drawing by Comerford.

Smyth worked with the architect James Gandon on most of his major projects, including the Four Courts, the House of Lords and the King's Inns in Dublin, and was also employed by the architect Francis Johnson, carving the heads on the exterior of Johnson's Chapel Royal in Dublin Castle until his death in 1812. Smyth was the first Master of the Dublin Society School of Modelling and Sculpture.

Comerford was a sociable and outgoing person, and he numbered among his friends many of his contemporary, distinguished artists, including: Professor Thomas James Mulvany (1779-1845), who was influential in obtaining the charter for the Royal Hibernian Academy and became one of the first academicians; the Italian landscape artist Gaspare Gabrielli, who worked in Ireland; Vincent Waldré (ca 1742-1814), also an Italian landscape artist; James Gandon (1742-1823) , the leading architect of the day in Dublin; the sculptor Smyth (1749-1812); the first President of the Royal Hibernian Academy, William Ashford (1746-1824) ; and the Waterford-born landscape artist, Thomas Sautelle Roberts (ca 1760-1826).
Mme Hilde Frank, Leipzig
Musee d'Art et d'Histoire, Geneva. Chef-d'oeuvre de la miniature et de la gouache, in 1956, no. 87; Albertina, Vienna, Meisterwerk der Europasichen Miniaturmalerei von 1750 bis 1850 in 1965, no. 53.

Comerford Collection at the Irish Architectural Archives in Dublin, in 2009.
WG Strickland, A Dictionary of Irish Artists, vol 1 (1913), pp 196-197, 201.

Schidlof, Leo R. (1964) The Miniature in Europe, 4 vols. Graz (Austria). Vo. I, p. 158; Vol. II p. 934; illustrated in Vol. III plate 131, no. 242.

Crookshank, Anne (1966) Irish Sculptors from 1750-1860, Apollo, Vol. LXXXIV, no. 56 , (Oct).

Paul Caffrey, John Comerford and the portrait miniature in Ireland c. 1620-1850 (Kilkenny: Kilkenny Archaeological Society, 1999), p. 54 number 95, illustrated in colour p. 43.

Paul Caffrey, ‘John Comerford,’ ONDB (Oxford: OUP, 2004), p. 685.

The Comerford Collection: Portrait Miniatures,(Dublin, privately published, 2009) pp 9, 38 (# 145), 67 (sitter # 39).
Height 11.30 cm (4.45 inches)
Stock Code
watercolour on ivory
Signed and indistinctly inscribed Smith in the lower left hand corner.
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Ellison Fine Art
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