oil on board, 9" × 12"
Frederic Marlett Bell-Smith (1846-1923) Artist Biography
Frederic Marlett Bell-Smith (September 26, 1846 June 23, 1923) was a Canadian landscape painter best known for his works of the Rocky Mountains and the Selkirk Range.
Bell-Smith emigrated to Canada from England in 1866. He had studied painting in England and worked as an artist and photographer in Montreal until 1871, when he moved to Toronto. Throughout the 1870s and 1880s he sketched, painted, and taught art classes in Toronto, Hamilton, and London, Ontario.
In 1886 Bell-Smith seized the opportunity to paint the Canadian Rockies when the Vice-President of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), William Cornelius Van Horne, offered free travel passes to several artists who would sketch and paint vistas of the Canadian west. The CPR wanted artistic works that would heighten public interest in trans-continental travel. Bell-Smith's stylistically conservative paintings were popular in both eastern Canada and Britain, and he frequently returned to the west to work. He was particularly fond of the natural splendour of the area around Lake Louise and by the turn of the century he made annual trips to the west.
Bell-Smith also created many paintings of late Victorian and Edwardian eastern Canada and Britain.