John "Warwick" Smith (1749-1831)
He was a landscape painter and illustrator. He was born at Irthington, near Carlisle, Cumberland, the son of a gardener to the Gilpin family, and was educated at St. Bees. The fortunate social connection allowed him to study art under the animal painter Sawrey Gilpin.
Becoming known as a skilful topographical draughtsman, he was employed upon Samuel Middiman's Select Views in Great Britain, and obtained the patronage of George Greville, 2nd Earl of Warwick, which enabled him to travel to Italy between 1776 and 1781. While there he met other British artists such as Francis Towne, Thomas Hearne and William Pars. He came to be known as 'Warwick' or 'Italian' Smith.
Smith joined the Watercolour Society in 1805, and was a major contributor to its exhibitions from 1807 to 1823, when he resigned his membership. He was elected president in 1814, 1817, and 1818, secretary in 1816, and treasurer in 1819, 1821, and 1822.
He died in Middlesex Place, London, on 22 March 1831.
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