George Smith was born in Chichester to William Smith, a tradesman. George's brothers, William (1707-1764) and John (1717-1764), were also artists. They were patronised by Charles, 2nd Duke of Richmond and Lennox (1701-1750) and between 1760 and 1763, took a number of prizes, such as the premium offered by the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.
Ellis Waterhouse records that the artist painted still-lifes in the 1750s. The present work relates compositionally to another still life of bread, cheese and ale by the artist, signed and dated 1753 (see The Smith Brothers of Chichester, 1986, no.6, p.18).