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(b Pateley Bridge, Yorks, Sept 9, 1821; d London, Feb 5, 1889).

English painter, printmaker and writer. After being educated at a school for the sons of Methodist ministers, he was articled to the Gothic Revival architect Edward James Willson (1787–1854) in Lincoln. Willson allowed him to spend much of his time drawing the paintings and sculptures in Lincoln Cathedral and after three years let him leave to become a painter. Smetham then worked as a portrait painter in Shropshire before moving to London (1843), where he studied as a probationer at the Royal Academy Schools and met Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who became a close friend. In 1851 he made his début at the Royal Academy and was appointed drawing-master at Normal College in Westminster, London, a post he retained for the next 26 years. He met John Ruskin in 1854, who was greatly impressed by his work. The first of his many breakdowns occurred in 1857. His early work remains largely unknown, but such paintings as ...