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Captain Robert Woolf Junior (1786/7-1825) of the 6th Madras Light Cavalry, the grandson of John Smart (senior) after a portrait by John Smart (senior) 1796


wearing red Cavalry uniform with white cross sash, black stock and frilled cravat, a plumed red helmet trimmed with brown and black ribbon, landscape background
Painted on card, signed and dated on obverse 1805, square wood frame

The drawing is based on the work by John Smart Senior, the infamous miniature painter of the late 18th century, who married three times. By his first wife, he had a son John and two daughters, Anna Maria and Sophia. This Anna Maria married a Robert Woolf whose son Captain Rober Woolf Junior is depicted here.

Smart had issue out of wedlock by Sarah Midgeley, a daughter and a son John, this John is the artist of this miniature. So John the artist of the watercolour was the uncle to the sitter, the sitter in turn being the grand son to the famous miniaturist John Smart Senior.

Anna, being the daughter of John Smart the miniature painter, accompanied her father to India in 1785 where she married Robert in 1786. Robert Woolf Junior was the eldest of 9 children. He was born in Madras and educated in England where he became a cadet in 1803. He was later advanced to Captain in the 6th Madras Light Cavalry, and died at Jalnah on 29th September, 1825 (Farley's Bristol Journal). Robert Woolf Junior married Augusta Ann Green, who as a widow, was admitted a pensioner of Lord Clive' Fune, but was struck out of the lists on her second marriage. They had no children.

According to family tradition Robert was a favourite grandchild child for John Smart, who wrote on the back of an original miniature (now in the Huntingdon Art Gallery) (Wrington ARCHIVE Personal Quest - Josephine Smedley William Henry Woolf - page 2)

'Beware of what the world calls happiness - all this died with thee dear Robert'.

The sitter in this delightful watercolour, Robert ,was also a gifted artist, as we can judge by his self-portrait and his painting of The Last Charge of the 6th Bengal Light Cavalry and the 6th Madras Light Cavalry at the battle of Nagpore, 16th December 1817. (engraving by Denis Dighton after Robert Woolf, 6th Madras Light Cavalry (Plate 3) from The Indian Army by Boris Mollo).

The works of John Smart, Junior are generally scarce, this is a particularly fine example
More Information
Year                 1805
Medium                 Water and bodycolour on paper
Signed                 signed with initials and dated
Provenance                 Collection of Edward Grosvenor Paine
Sotheby's 11 July 1991 New York
Literature                 Daphne Foskett, John Smart the man and the miniature, 1964 p. 16,17, 36, 39,40, 41,32,59, Fig. 17
Daphne Foskett, Collecting Miniatures, 1979, p. 330 plate 92D
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