Matthew Smith was a painter who was born in Halifax, Yorkshire. Smith worked for several years in his father’s factory before going to Manchester School of Art to study industrial design between 1900 and 1904. He continued his studies at the Slade School of Fine Art, London, from 1905 to 1907. Smith began exhibiting at the at the Salon des Independants in 1911 and then went on to exhibit widely – having his first one man show at the Mayor Gallery in 1926. He received the CBE in 1949 and was knighted in 1954.
Smith was a rich colourist (uncommon amongst English painters) whose work owed much both to his years in France and the Fauve tradition. Painting landscapes, still-life and figures, he applied the paint in bold, swift brushstrokes.