John Smith after John Riley.
Mrs. Conwai Hackett.
10 x 13½ inches.
Miss Hackett is thought to be the granddaughter of John Hackett, the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, who died in 1670.
John Smith was born in the early 1650’s and is said to have died in 1742. He was taught the art of mezzotint by Isaac Beckett and for much of the seventeenth century his prints appear to have been printed by E. Cooper. By the early 1700’s, however, he had set himself up as a publisher of both his own work and that of others. He is particularly well remembered for his engravings after the paintings of Sir Godfrey Kneller. During his career Smith was very highly regarded by his contemporaries and Walpole considered him to be one of the most proficient mezzotint engravers of his generation. Through his efforts he managed a very comfortable living and appears to have generated sufficient income to secure an independent and lengthy old age.
John Riley (1646-91) was an English portrait painter who shared the patronage of William and Mary alongside his more illustrious contemporary, Godfrey Kneller.