Douglas Ian (Ion) Smart was born in Hammersmith, London in 1879, the son of the painter Charles Ion Smart. He studied at the Royal College of Art, London under Sir Frank Short. His subject matter was mostly confined to landscapes scenes in England, France, Spain and Italy, and particularly river scenes. The River Thames, beside which he lived most of his life, was a frequent source of inspiration. Smart was elected to the Royal Society of Etchers and Engravers in 1922. He exhibited frequently at the Royal Academy, as well as Colnaghi, The Fine Art Society, the Glasgow Institute, The Walker Gallery and others. Smart died in London in 1970.