About this artwork

Munro’s distinctive response to Pre-Raphaelitism was reflected both in his rare narrative sculpture such as The Young Romilly (NG 2571) and in the portraiture which was the mainstay of his career. During the 1850s he shared a London house and studio with Arthur Hughes while also teaching at the Working Men’s College with the Pre-Raphaelite sculptor Thomas Woolner. It was probably at Denmark Hill, the family home of John Ruskin, the great art critic and champion of the Pre-Raphaelites, that Munro encountered George Smith, publisher to Ruskin, Charlotte Bronte and W M Thackeray, and founder of the Dictionary of National Biography. Shown at the Royal Academy in 1859, this portrait of Smith’s wife is an exquisite example of the large-scale and high relief medallions which were widely recognised as Munro’s forte.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    Elizabeth Smith (née Blakeway)
  • date created:
    Unknown
  • materials:
    White marble set in oak surround faced with veined pink marble, in a marble frame
  • measurements:
    Relief diameter; 50.50 x 40.50 cm (framed: 63.30 x 53.50 x 14.00 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased 2007
  • accession number:
    NG 2816
  • gallery:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
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Alexander Munro

Alexander Munro