CONWY CASTLE, WALES
Signed & titled l.l. Conwy Castle William C Smith July 18...[?]
Additional pencil sketch verso
Watercolour with bodycolour
27 x 37cm
With William Drummond, Covent Garden Gallery, London
[As Harry John Johnson]
William Collingwood Smith was born the son of an amateur artist and musician. Likely encouraged down an artistic path by his father, Smith was exhibiting at the Royal Academy by the time he was twenty-one. It is thought that he received some tuition from James Duffield Harding early on in his career. He began by painting in oils (as Harding did on occasion) but soon turned exclusively to watercolours. He swiftly became one of London's most succesful teachers in this medium, building up the capital's largest teaching practice and serving as tutor to amateurs, professionals and military men.
He was elected to the Old Watercolour Society as an associate in 1843 and a full member in 1849, and served for a time as Trustee, Treasurer and as Treasurer to the Royal Watercolour Society Art Club, of which he was a key instigator. He first travelled to the continent in 1852 and made several subsequent visits. His views of Venice and Rome are particularly fine.