Lot #114

F.M. Bell-Smith
Logging Camp, British Columbia

oil on canvas
signed lower right
27 x 40 ins ( 68.6 x 101.6 cms )

Sold for $11,500.00
Sale date: November 23rd 2017

Provenance:
Estate of the artist
Private Collection, Ontario
Having served in teaching posts in Toronto and London, Ontario, after having worked as a photography retoucher and freelance illustrator in Montreal and Hamilton, Frederic M. Bell-Smith took advantage of the Canadian Pacific Railway from 1887 onward and travelled to western Canada. Enamoured by the majesty of the Rockies, the artist found inspiration in the distinct landscape and returned throughout the remainder of his life to render the vista in watercolour and oil paintings. Punctuated with jewel tones of aquamarine and emerald, Bell-Smith captures the lush terrain of the West Coast in “Logging Camp, British Columbia”. With a complex, layered high horizon, the viewer is placed within the landscape at the base of the mountain range, and can imagine breathing in the crisp fresh air near the clear body of water amidst the logging camp. Both sublime and calming, this landscape typifies the beauty of peaceful solitude in Canada's West Coast.

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Frederic Marlett Bell-Smith
(1846 - 1923) OSA RCA

Born in London, England, Frederic Marlett Bell-Smith’s earliest training was under his artist father. He attended the South Kensington School of Art under Alexander Hamilton until his family emigrated to Montreal, Quebec in 1867. Later, he studied in Paris at the Academie Colarossi under Joseph-Paul Blanc, Gustave Courtois, and Edmond-Louis Dupain. The artist arrived in London, Ontario in 1881 where he was appointed Art Director of Alma College (St.Thomas) and, the following year, Drawing Master at Central Public School. In 1888 he moved to Toronto where he was named principal of the western branch of the Toronto Art School. He continued to serve at Alma College until 1901. Bell-Smith was a founding member of the Society of Canadian Artists, the Ontario Society of Artists, and the Western Art League. He was elected an Academician in the Royal Canadian Academy and played important roles in many local and national artistic associations. His work was very popular in his lifetime: he painted portrait, genre, and landscape subjects in both oil and watercolour in the impressionistic, picturesque, and sublime styles of the last century.