American Masterpieces from Dryads Green Gallery
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Artist Name:     George Henry Smillie
Artist Dates:      1840-1921    
Late Afternoon in CT
Painting Date:     1888 ca.
Medium:            Oil on Canvas    
Signed Lower Left     
Private Collection
Condition:          Very Good  
Size Unframed:  
16 x 25
Frame Condition: Mint Reproduction
Artist Best Price: $42,000
Offered At:         SOLD
A member of one of the most active and influential families in the art circles of New York City,
George Smillie (the Scots name should be pronounced to rhyme with Millie) was acquainted at an early
age with his father's many engraved translations from such American landscapists as Thomas Cole,
Asher Durand, and Jasper Cropsey. He studied in Europe on two occasions, which loosened his
brushwork. But in 1871, Smillie made a trip to the Rocky Mountains and the Yosemite Valley of
California. And his masterpiece oil of "Half Dome," is his most important single work, accounting for
his highest subsequent price. Smillie also traveled to Florida to paint, but for most of his life he lived
and worked in New York, the White Mountains, and Connecticut--with Ridgefield a favorite location
as in his title for our work--which is taken from his original sales label. And note that in November of
1870 the
New York Herald said his works…"do infinite credit to him in their carefully finished
execution and in the understanding of the subject…A certain refinement runs through all his artistic
work, no matter what the subject. It enhances the charm of his more quiet scenes, modifies, without
losing the character of bolder, wilder views.�

Smillie exhibited extensively during his lifetime at almost every major U.S. venue including the
Boston Athenaeum, the Salmagundi Club, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Pennsylvania Academy of
Fine Arts and the Corcoran. He exhibited almost every year at the National Academy of Design from
1862 to 1921, becoming a full academician in 1876. He was honored with a medal  from the Society of
American Artists in 1907. His work can be found in the Smithsonisn, the Museum of Fine Arts,
Boston; the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C., the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum
and the Crystal Bridges museum. In 1881, Smillie married Nellie Jacobs, a genre painter who had
been a student of his brother James, and for many years the three shared a studio in suburban
Bronxville. He died in Bronxville in 1921.
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George Henry Smillie
in his Studio ca. 1900
Landscape Gem by Hudson River School Successor
Curator's Comments: Painting in the Nineteenth Century, George Henry Smillie perfectly
captures the mood of the Hoagy Carmichael favorite, "Up a Lazy River" whose lyrics surely reflect the
artist's accomplishment: "Up a lazy river by the old mill run / That lazy, lazy river in the noon day sun
/ You can linger in the shade of that fine ole tree / Throw, away your troubles, baby, dream with me."
Even the ducks remain as still as the skiff whose occupants we imagine are resting somewhere
beneath the twisted old tree at the left. Smillie has given us a painting of peace, of the river resting
after powering the saw mills and grist mills with their source ponds that lined its banks during the
national cataclysm that ended with the North's victory in the Civil War. Smillie frequently painted the
Titicus (from the Mohican name Mutighticoss which the English settlers shortened to Metiticus and
then to Titicus--though Titichus was common in the 1860s, when Smillie painted), which rises in
Ridgefield. It is his repeated quest for perfection that has resulted in the masterpiece we are pleased
to offer. But note that Smillie received his early artistic training from his father, James H. Smillie
(1807-1885), an engraver by trade, whose specialty was turning the masterpeces of the Hudson River
School into prints. Additionally, the young Smillie later studied with artist James McDougal Hart (1828-
1901), one of the greate Hudson River School masters, who instilled in him the importance of
attention to detail that became an inherent part of George Smillie’s compositions. During the
nineteenth century, Smillie’s works were regarded as “highly finishedâ€� with their â
€œcreditableâ€� realism.
The Mill Pond at Ridgefield
     Sold for $18,400
Home by the River
also shows the Titicus
The river as it nears
New York State