James Smetham

Sep 9, 1821 - Feb 5, 1889

James Smetham was an English Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood painter and engraver, a follower of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
Smetham was born in Pateley Bridge, Yorkshire, and attended school in Leeds; he was originally apprenticed to the Lincoln architect Edward James Willson before deciding on an artistic career. He studied at the Royal Academy, beginning in 1843. His modest early success as a portrait painter was stifled by the development of photography. In 1851 Smetham took a teaching position at the Wesleyan Normal College in Westminster, and was the first Drawing Master for what would later become Westminster College. In 1854, he married Sarah Goble, a fellow teacher at the College. They would eventually have six children.
Smetham worked in a range of genres, including religious and literary themes as well as portraiture; but he is perhaps best known as a landscape painter. His "landscapes have a visionary quality" reminiscent of the work of William Blake, John Linnell, and Samuel Palmer.
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