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Alexander Smail  1860

by Joseph Backler

The artist Joseph Backler arrived in Australia as a convict. He was a prolific portrait painter, who specialised in painting successful traders and small business people. He was rarely commissioned by middle class patrons.

Alexander Smail arrived in New South Wales from Roxburgh Shire Scotland in 1843 and married Margaret Moore in 1847. Alexander was a baker and ran a successful milling and ship provisioning business on Millers Point.

His wife and two of their children can be seen in the companion portrait to the left of this work.