About this artwork

Isabella Ewing was the daughter of Baillie William Ewing. She married Archibald Smith, son of John Smith 2nd Laird of Craigend in 1781. Archibald had made his fortune in the West Indies. Jordanhill was their home in Renfrew, near Glasgow. Isabella was the mother of five children and lived to be a hundred. Her friend Mrs Grant of Laggan wrote these lines ‘On Mrs Smith’s Picture’ in 1810. She speaks of Isabella’s ‘gentle mind’ and of her ‘modest mental charms untaught to shine’, hinting perhaps that her ‘long beloved companion’ friend had a keen intelligence that had not been encouraged to develop fully.