A superb portrait miniature of a Major General of the Honourable East India Company (HEIC)

Artist/Maker JOHN SMART (1741-1811)
Dimensions 71.00mm high   
Description A superb portrait of a Major General of the HEIC
Set in the original gold frame, the reverse with aperture to reveal gold monogram JB on plaited hair

It is possible that the sitter is John Bellasis (died 1808), a British Major-General (East India Company officer) who was commanding the forces at Bombay. He first went to India in 1763. He died in Bombay at age 64. He married Ann, daughter of John Hutchins, who died in Bombay in 1797.

Smart was one of the leading miniaturists working at the end of the 18th century. His work is entirely different from that of Cosway, quiet and grey in its colouring, with the flesh tints elaborated with much subtlety and modelled in exquisite fashion. He possessed a great knowledge of anatomy, and his portraits are drawn with greater anatomical accuracy and possess more distinction than those of any miniature painter of his time.

He went to India in 1788 where he gained many notable commissions, returning to England in 1797, four years after this portrait was taken.
Provenance An English Private Collection
Signed signed with initials on the obverse with I for India and dated 1793
Medium watercolour on ivory
Condition Good
Ref No. 2660
Price Sold
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