Horse Trading at Smithfield
By LEWIS, C[harles] after AGASSE, Jacques-Laurent , 1824

[A View in Smithfield on a Friday afternoon].

  • Author: LEWIS, C[harles] after AGASSE, Jacques-Laurent
  • Publication place: [London
  • Publisher: J. Moore
  • Publication date: c.1824].
  • Physical description: Hand-coloured etching with aquatint. Proof before letters.
  • Dimensions: Image: 380 by 530mm. (15 by 20.75 inches). Sheet: 423 by 553mm (16.5 by 21.75 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 12532


The scene depicts horse trading at Smithfield Market from the south side of west Smithfield – looking north to Smithfield Bar and St John Street. C. Lewis aquatinted the view but for forms sake the name of his father F.C. also appeared on the plate.

Charles George Lewis (1808–80) was an English engraver. The second son of Frederick Christian Lewis (1779–1856), the painter and engraver, and brother of John Frederick Lewis (1786–1836), the bookbinder, he was born at Enfield, Middlesex, on 13 June 1808. He was instructed in drawing and engraving by his father. Lewis retired in about 1877, and died suddenly from apoplexy at his residence at Felpham, near Bognor, on 16 June 1880. He was buried in Felpham churchyard.

Jacques-Laurent Agasse (1767-1849) was an animal and landscape painter from Switzerland. Born in Geneva, Agasse studied in the public art school of that city. Before he turned twenty he went to Paris to study in veterinary school to make himself fully acquainted with the anatomy of horses and other animals. He seems to have subsequently returned to Switzerland. A contemporary newspaper says that “Agasse, the celebrated animal painter, now in England, owed his fortune to an accident. About eight years ago, he being then in Switzerland, a rich Englishman asked him to paint his favourite dog which had died. The Englishman was so pleased with his work that he took the painter to England with him.”

The original painting is now in the Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection.


  1. Museum of London 002519
  2. Malcolm Warner, The Paul Mellon Bequest, treasures of a lifetime, (New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, 2001), p.109, N5247 M385 P28 2001 (YCBA)
  3. Jessica David, Jacques Laurent Agasse (1767-1849), An investigation of his painting practice and an overview of his career, British Art Journal, Vol. XII, Autumn 2011, p. 48, fig. 6, N6761 + B74 12:2 (YCBA).