Art UK has updated its cookies policy. By using this website you are agreeing to the use of cookies. To find out more read our updated Use of Cookies policy and our updated Privacy policy.

Supposed Portrait of Florence Smyth (b.1634), and an Unnamed Black Attendant

Photo credit: Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives

How you can use this image

This image can be used for non-commercial research or private study purposes, and other UK exceptions to copyright permitted to users based in the United Kingdom under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised. Any other type of use will need to be cleared with the rights holder(s).

Review the copyright credit lines that are located underneath the image, as these indicate who manages the copyright (©) within the artwork, and the photographic rights within the image.

The collection that owns the artwork may have more information on their own website about permitted uses and image licensing options.

Review our guidance pages which explain how you can reuse images, how to credit an image and how to find images in the public domain or with a Creative Commons licence available.


Add or edit a note on this artwork that only you can see. You can find notes again by going to the ‘Notes’ section of your account.

This portrait once hung at Ashton Court Mansion, a house on the outskirts of Bristol belonging to the Smyth family. The Smyths were merchants and were a prominent local family from the sixteenth century. This little girl is dressed in clothes fashionable around 1640, and she is accompanied by a young black figure who is also dressed in rich fabrics. He holds a nest of robins, which may signify the nurture of children or the transience of youth.

If the girl is Florence Smyth (born 1634, the second daughter of Thomas and Florence Smyth, nee Poulett) although this cannot yet be proved, this is a very early and important image of a black presence in Bristol. Further research is currently being undertaken to establish the identities of the sitters.

The Red Lodge Museum


Supposed Portrait of Florence Smyth (b.1634), and an Unnamed Black Attendant




oil on canvas


H 66 x W 58.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased with the assistance of the Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund, the Art Fund, the Friends of Bristol Art Gallery, the Peter John Blyth Art Fund and the Friends of Bristol's Museums, Galleries and Archives, 2008

Work type



See a tag that’s incorrect or offensive? Challenge it and notify Art UK.

Help improve Art UK. Tag artworks and verify existing tags by joining the Tagger community.

The Red Lodge Museum

Park Row, Bristol BS1 5LJ England

This venue is open to the public. Not all artworks are on display. If you want to see a particular artwork, please contact the venue.
View venue