Russell Smith, 1835 / 1877
Oil on canvas, 12 x 8”
Historical Society of Pennsylvania Collection
The Courthouse was completed about 1708 and was situated in the middle of Market Street at Second. It stood upon arches with pillars, the basement being open for market stalls. From its balcony, proclamations were read, governors inaugurated, and speeches made. It was also the place where elections were held, served as the town hall, and the seat of the legislature until the State House was built. It was demolished in 1837. (Scharf and Westcott, History of Philadelphia, I. 187)
The city's first permanent market was located at the arcaded ground floor of the courthouse. It continued the medieval tradition of combining a courthouse and a market.
Russell Smith (1812-1896) studied under James Lambdin and became a scene and panorama painter as well as a landscape artist. He exhibited at the Academy of Fine Arts from 1834-1869. His son Xanthus Russell Smith followed in his father’s footsteps and also became a well regarded landscape painter.