View from the village of Hope, looking to the Ruins of Caergwrle Castle between Caergwrle and Caer Esttyn; which are separated by the Alun Rivulet, Flintshire. John 'Warwick' Smith was the son of a gardener who worked for the Gilpin family. He studied drawing under artist Sawrey Gilpin (1733-1807). He accompanied the Gilpin family on many sketching tours between 1770 and 1776. During a trip to Derbyshire in 1775, Smith met George Greville (1746-1816), the 2nd Earl of Warwick. Greville became his patron, providing support for his trip to Italy between 1776 and 1781. While visiting Naples, Rome and the Campagna Smith met artists such as William Pars (1742-1782), John Robert Cozens (1752-1797), Thomas Jones (1742-1803) and Francis Towne (1739/40-1816).