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John Rubens Smith

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John Rubens Smith

John Rubens Smith
Self-portrait, c. 1817
Born January 23, 1775
Died August 21, 1849
New York City

John Rubens Smith (January 23, 1775 London - August 21, 1849 New York City) was a London-born painter, printmaker and art instructor who worked in the United States.


Smith was born in England where he first studied art with his father, John Raphael Smith, a mezzotint engraver. He later studied art at the Royal Academy.

Smith emigrated to New York City from London about 1807. He depicted the United States in the decades before photography, and influenced a generation of American artists through his drawing academies and drawing manuals.

His son John Rowson Smith (1810–1864) was a moving panorama painter.


  • The juvenile drawing-book (1844)


  • John Rubens Smith biography at the Library of Congress website (visited June 21, 2010)
  • John Rubens Smith Created Pictorial Record of Early America at the Library of Congress website (visited June 21, 2010)
  • Vital data at (visited June 21, 2010)

External links

  • John Rubens Smith, New York, N.Y. letter to Asher Brown Durand, 1826 May 25 (visited June 21, 2010)

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