Signed Herbert L. Smith, at bottom right Purchased, 1993 with support from the FNCI
Herbert L. Smith was an English artist who painted portraits, history and subject pictures, exhibiting in the Royal Academy, London, in 1840. His portraits are generally of seated figures, shown in three quarter view, as here, and of society figures in Victorian or military dress.Cornwallis Maude, Earl de Montalt and 4th Viscount Hawarden (1817 -1905) of Dundrum House, County Tipperary is represented in this portrait in his uniform as a Lt. Col. in the British Army. His uniform and badge are those of an officer in the Tipperary Militia, the badge narrows his regimentary location still further to the North Tipperary Light Infantry Militia which later became the 4th battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment. The medieval castle in the background on the right tells us that he is the heir to ancient properties and, indeed the Maudes were one of the biggest landowning families in the country with 15,000 acres in County Tipperary. The family were Cromwellian settlers and one of them, Sir Thomas Maude was involved in the notorious trial and execution of Father Nicholas Sheehy in Clonmel in 1766. Cornwallis Maude succeeded his father to the title Lord Hawarden in 1856. This portrait may have been commissioned to mark his new title. He is clearly proud of his officer status, his hand resting on the hilt of his sword, in a conventional at-ease pose for military portraits, while his lands and castles stretch from the sea to the mountains behind him. The estate was sold in 1904 a year before his death and subsequently divided up by the land commission.