John "Warwick " Smith in Breconshire
Updated: May 28, 2018
John "Warwick" Smith was a professional artist (1749 - 1831) who made many visits to Wales and not only to the North, which was becoming a favourite source of picturesque views, but also to mid and south Wales. He traveled to Italy under the patronage of the George Greville , the second Earl of Warwick. This led to his adding Warwick to his name which gave it the same kind of ring as many other artists of the time who favoured a distinguishing middle name (Michael Angelo Rooker, Julius Caeser Ibbotson, Samuel Hieronymus Grimm...).
Warwick Smith always gives his watercolours descriptive titles and dates them clearly . There is a splendid collection of over 160 in the National Library of Wales, all digitised and all but one of the images shown on this page are from this collection.
Anyone who knows Crickhowell will be surprised by the height of the tower of St Edmund's Church which Warwick Smith has somewhat exaggerated. The island shown in the river has long since gone. This picture is in the collection of the National Museum of Wales.
On the right is the Priory Bridge on the Honddu with what appears to be reinforcing metal ribs under the arches. The structure in the left foreground was a mill and the crenelated building across the bridge is a chapel built as part of the Countess of Huntingdons Connexion
John Warwick Smith became one of the most famous landscape watercolourists of his time, becoming President of the Watercolour Society.