Smith, a leading London engraver, is shown holding the mezzotint that he had made from Kneller's self-portrait of 1694. In his career, Smith produced some 280 mezzotint portrait prints, of which about 140 were after works by Kneller. Thus Kneller, the foremost fashionable portraitist, brought business to Smith, whose prints in turn gave him publicity. This portrait, which reflects their close cooperation, was painted as a gift for Smith, who is depicted in the informal attire and fur-lined cap of a gentleman at leisure.
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