The portrait is of a young girl, thought to be a member of the Smyth family who rose to prominence in Bristol as merchants in the 16th century.

The presence of the black page makes this portrait especially interesting as there is no other known image of an African in Bristol at this early date. The Smyth family were merchants but the boy would have been a slave. Black servants were fashionable at the time and are shown in a small number of portraits. This work will be moved to the new Museum of Bristol when it opens.


By descent in the Smyth family of Ashton Court Mansion, Somerset; Sir Greville Upton-Smyth; Dame Emily Smyth, 1901; the Hon. Mrs Esme Smyth, 1914; John E Pritchard & Co, 1947;...;Christie's, London 1991; Weiss Gallery; Frederick W Hughes, New York; W

The Red Lodge Museum

Park Row, Bristol, BS1 5LJ
0117 921 1360

Opening times

1 Apr – 31 Dec: Sat – Tue, 11am – 4pm.

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