Art: Late Starter

"Degas once said a very wise thing," says frail, blue-eyed English Painter Matthew Smith: " 'It's easy to have talent at 20 but what is difficult is to have talent at 50.' " Last week Artist Smith, with a big show of watercolors, drawings and oils at London's Redfern Gallery, could boast plenty of talent at 70.

As a painter, Smith had been a late and uncertain starter. After making halfhearted attempts at earning his-living in the family wire works and in a Bradford woolen mill, he persuaded his parents to let him study commercial art in Manchester. His real artistic...

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