Portrait of Catherine Lyde
John Smibert, American, 1688 - 1751
Born in Edinburgh, John Smibert worked as a craftsman and copyist in London before traveling to Italy to develop his artistic skills. In 1729 he arrived in Boston to join the philosopher George Berkeley in establishing a university in Bermuda. When these plans dissolved, Smibert established a painting room, an artist’s supply shop, and a gallery that displayed his copies after important European paintings. Even after his death, his studio remained and nurtured American artists from Robert Feke, John Singleton Copley, and Charles Willson Peale to John Trumbull and Washington Allston. The artist’s second recorded composition made in Boston, this portrait of the widowed Catherine Page Brinley Lyde (1663–1755) is typical of his earliest American works.
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