"A Soldier's Farewell on the Eve of a Battle," John Raphael Smith, RA

 
"A Soldier's Farewell on the Eve of a Battle," John Raphael Smith, RA
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Description

"A Soldier's Farewell on the Eve of a Battle," by John Raphael Smith, RA (English 1752-1812). This important and well-known painting was exhibited at The Royal Academy in 1787 (cat. no. 15), and was so popular that Smith engraved and published a fine mezzotint from it on May 12, 1788. In response to popular demand, it was re-issued in later editions, both authorized and unauthorized, on both sides of the Atlantic. Images of sentimental departure or return scenes were enormously popular during this period. 

This painting shows a British cavalry trooper saying farewell to his sweetheart before departing for battle or active service, perhaps in America.  He wears the bearskin-crested helmet and short, round jacket first adapted by the British light dragoons during the Revolutionary War.  In the background are a dragoon on guard duty and a trumpeter relaxing in front of a row of tents.

See
The Royal Academy of Arts, VII (London, 1906), 185; and Richard Opfer auction catalog, March 18, 2004.

Oil on wood panel, 15" x 12", in the original carved and gilded frame.  Painting offered together with the framed engraving shown.

Price: $9,500.00