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Sailing in American Art

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Newport Mountain from Bald Porcupine

George Henry Smillie, Newport Mountain from Bald Porcupine,

George Henry Smillie

John Davis Hatch Collection 1984.7.112

Water-side views are common in Smillie’s work. He frequently depicted quiet, peaceful moments at the beach or riverside, employing a more neutral palette and looser brushwork than many of his American contemporaries. In Newport Mountain from Bald Porcupine, the loose brushwork can be seen most in the colorful details of the trees and grass and in the far distance among the clouds. The small sailing vessel reminds the viewer of the importance of this form of transportation throughout the nineteenth century. Unlike some of his colleagues, Smillie preferred to use a combination of watercolors and oils in his works. Although he traveled throughout the United States, Smillie preferred to portray scenes from the east coast; Newport Mountain from Bald Porcupine is on the coast of Maine, north of his New York City home.

Artist Bio

George Henry Smillie was born in New York to James Smillie, a well known engraver in New York City in the 1840s. George Smillie’s artistic career accelerated before the Civil War and ended shortly after the First World War.

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