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Noah Smith

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.




Ralph Earl
American, 1751–1801

About this artwork

Ralph Earl garnered portrait commissions primarily from wealthy rural landowners in Connecticut, New York, and Vermont. A loyalist, Earl fled America for England during the Revolutionary War, developing his portrait style, in turn, by studying with Benjamin West (an American painter in London) and through contact with English artists. Returning in 1785, Earl painted this portrait of Noah Smith late in his career, having melded his British training with a simpler, linear style that appealed to his clients of the rural gentry. In this work, Smith, chief justice of the Vermont Supreme Court, sits assuredly before the viewer; the map at hand, pastoral view at left, and volumes of books behind him signal the sitter’s prominent position as a man of affairs in the young nation.


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Arts of the Americas


Ralph Earl


Noah Smith


Bennington (Place depicted)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on canvas


Signed, lower left: "R. Earl / Pinxt / 1798"


163.2 × 107.3 cm (64 1/4 × 42 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Goodman Fund

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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