Sebastian Smee

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Sebastian Smee is an Australian-born Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic for the Washington Post.[1][2][3]

Education and career[edit]

Educated at St Peter's College, Adelaide, Smee graduated from the University of Sydney with an Honours degree in fine arts in 1994 and moved to Boston in 2008, having also lived in the United Kingdom between 2001 and 2004.[4][5] Before joining the Boston Globe he was national art critic for The Australian and has also worked for The Daily Telegraph and contributed to The Guardian, The Times, The Financial Times, The Independent on Sunday, The Art Newspaper, Modern Painters, Prospect magazine and The Spectator.

He won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism for his "vivid and exuberant writing about art, often bringing great works to life with love and appreciation".[6]


Smee is the author of the books Lucian Freud and Side by Side: Picasso v Matisse. In 2016, The Art of Rivalry was published. The book examines the relationships between four pairs of artists — Matisse and Picasso, de Kooning and Pollock, Freud and Bacon, and Degas and Manet.[7]

Smee is author of the 72nd issue of the Quarterly Essay titled "Net Loss: The Inner Life in the Digital Age" (2018)[8]


  • Sebastian Smee, Side by Side: Picasso v Matisse, Duffy and Snellgrove, ISBN 978-1-876631-32-1
  • _, Lucian Freud, Taschen, 2007, ISBN 978-3-8228-5805-9
  • _, The Art of Rivalry: Four Friendships, Betrayals, and Breakthroughs in Modern Art, Profile Books, 2016, ISBN 978-1781251669
  • Anita Hill, Sebastian Smee, Cornelia Butler, Mark Bradford, Phaidon Press, London, 2018, ISBN 9780714873398


  1. ^ "2011 Pulitzer Prizes". Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Globe art critic Sebastian Smee wins Pulitzer", Boston Globe website Archived 19 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ WashPostPR (8 November 2017). "Sebastian Smee joins The Post's Features team". Retrieved 8 February 2018 – via
  4. ^ "2011 Pulitzer Prize Criticism Biography", Pulitzer Prize website
  5. ^ "Sebastian Smee biography", Boston Globe website
  6. ^ "2011 Pulitzer Prize Criticism Citation", Pulitzer Prize website
  7. ^ Cooke, Rachel (16 October 2016). "The Art of Rivalry by Sebastian Smee review – from shared vision to slashed canvas". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  8. ^ Smee, Sebastian (November 2018). "Net Loss: The Inner Life in the Digital Age". Quarterly Essay. No. 72. Retrieved 11 December 2018.

External links[edit]