Matthew Smith 1879-1959


Matthew Smith was one of the most important artists of the twentieth century with numerous public collections and a major retrospective at the Tate Gallery in 1953. 


Studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London (1905-1908), moving on to France in 1908 painting in Etaples and Pont-Aven.  Matthew Smith then settled in Paris, exhibiting several of his works at the Salon des Independants before beginning to paint more ambitious compositions using related and contrasting colour showing the influence of Fauvism and Matisse whose studio he attended in 1910. 


An increasing self-confidence in the early 1920’s led to the evolution of Smith’s mature style, painting with a spontaneity and celebratory response to his subject.  After returning to London in 1940, regular exhibitions brought him considerable success.  Represented at the Venice Biennale in 1938 and1950, he was knighted in 1954. An exhibition of over 200 works was held at the Royal Academy in 1960.