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State Library of NSW
Governor Charles Augustus FitzRoyc 1855
Henry Robinson Smith’s florid portrait of Sir Charles FitzRoy seems to match the popular and aristocratic Governor-General’s reputation for sociability. Smith was a well-regarded portrait painter in Sydney in the 1850s, but few of his works have survived. The portrait coincided with FitzRoy’s departure from the colony in January 1855, presumably to capitalise on the interest in colonial commemorations of the Governor.
It was described as a ‘striking likeness’ in the ‘usual good taste displayed by this eminent artist’. But in May 1856 Smith advertised a ‘life-size’ portrait of FitzRoy, valued at £84, via an art union or lottery. It is not known if it was the same painting as displayed here.