George Henry Smillie
American, 1840-1921
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Collected by a major museum
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Selected exhibitions
2018
The Last New World: Important Hudson River School Paintings,
Questroyal Fine Art
Questroyal’s Ninth Annual Summer Special Sale,
Questroyal Fine Art
2017
Questroyal Fine Art’s Eighth Annual Summer Sale,
Questroyal Fine Art

From an artistic family that included his father, the engraver James Smillie, George Smillie began his artistic career as a tight and descriptive painter in the Hudson River School style of panoramic landscape. After time in Europe, and influenced by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Smillie began painting more intimate Tonalist landscapes full of rich paint handling and formal decorative elements. He was drawn to scenes of Long Island and the Massachusetts coast, and liked to use dramatic viewpoints— either high horizons, which allowed him to paint foreground trees, rock outcroppings, and meadow flowers with vivid brush work, or a bird’s-eye view to depict the rhythmic patterns of larger landforms. He often employed techniques of dramatic foreshortening, cropping, and flattening of forms.