An Unknown Lady as a Shepherdess
Casparus Smits or Smitz (Gaspar Smith) (c.1635 - Dublin 1688/1707)
The artist of this picture was famed primarily for his pictures of the Magdalen, and came to be known as ‘Magdalen' Smith. There is a reference to ‘Magdalen’ working in Painter Stainers’ Hall in 1662. He was also a restorer and picture dealer. His pupil, Maubert imitated his work, especially full-lengths, such as this. Walpole noted that: “His flowers and fruit were so much admired, that one bunch of grapes sold …. for £40” – a skill evident in the display shown in this painting.
Oil painting on canvas, An Unknown Lady as a Shepherdess by Casparus Smits (Gaspar Smith) (c.1635 - Dublin 1688/1707). A full-length portrait, wearing a white dress with blue drapery. Two sheep, fruit on a pedestal with relief of three cherubs. Left elbow rests on pedestal. A blackamoor attendant stands behind pedestal. Leafy tree in background. Smits first operated in London and later in Dublin, specialising in small-scale depictions such as this, particularly of Saint Mary Magdalene, so that he became known as 'Magdalen' Smith.
Part of the Lothian Collection. The hall and contents were bequeathed to the National Trust by Philip, 11th Marquess of Lothian (1882-1940).
Blickling Hall, The Lothian Collection (National Trust)
Makers and roles
Casparus Smits or Smitz (Gaspar Smith) (c.1635 - Dublin 1688/1707) , artist