Edward Robert Smythe (1810-1899)
Edward Robert Smythe (1810-1899). was born in Ipswich, son of James Smyth (1780-1863) and his wife Sarah Harriet née Skitter (1783-1845). Edward attended the school of Robert Burcham Clamp at Ipswich. Elected a member of the Ipswich Society of Professional and Amateur Artists in 1832 and attended his first meeting the same year and was probably working under Henry Davy. He had a studio in the Old Shire Hall, Ipswich where he painted with artists such as Samuel Read, Wat Hagreen, Frederick Brett Russel and Robert Burrows. About 1840, he moved to Norwich to study the Norwich School of Painters where he became acquainted with Robert Ladbrooke’s son, Frederick Ladbrooke and is said to have worked with John Sell Cotman (1782-1842). He returned to Ipswich some five years later, taking a house in Bramford Road. He married at Ipswich in1848, Ellen Burman (1827-1879) and went on to have several children. Smythe exhibited at the Suffolk Fine Arts Association Ipswich in August 1850, several oil paintings including 'Chapel Viaduct, Colne Valley', 'A Group of Animals', 'A Sketch Ploughing', 'Ponies and a Dog' and 'A Landscape', and a watercolour 'The Ruling Passion strong in Death' and was also a member and exhibitor at the Ipswich Fine Art Club 1886-1898 and in 1889 at the Woodbridge Art Exhibition had several oil paintings on display including 'Horses at Marsh', 'Donkeys' and 'Early Morn'. He also exhibited five works at the Royal Academy including 'View in the Colne Valley at Chappel, Essex' and exhibited five works at the British Institution including 'Pony and Boy' and 'The Village Blacksmith'. In 1865, Edward was living in Bury St Edmund’s, and his wife died in 1879, aged 52. By 1891 he had moved in with his married daughter Ellen Kate where he died in 1899, aged 88, and was buried in Ipswich cemetery. Five of his painting were on show at the Centenary exhibition of the Ipswich Art Club in 1974, a pastel 'Crossing the Stream', and oils 'Beach Scene', 'Knife Grinders' and 'The Squires Son' and a drawing 'Gipsies by the Wayside'. His oil 'The Charge of Balaclava' was bequeathed to Queen Victoria and is at Windsor Castle and in recent years he has regained something of the prestige that he held during his lifetime and his oil 'Woolpit Horse Fair' realised £39,650 at Bonham's London auction in 2011. (Suffolk Artists).