Frederic Marlett Bell-Smith
Canadian (born in England), 1846–1923
Rocky Mountain Scene, 1898
oil on paperboard
20.4 x 27.1 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Jones in memory of her uncle, Mr. Michael Pelechaty
After studying art in London, England, Frederick Bell-Smith settled with his family in Montreal in 1867. Initially employed by photography studios and as an art instructor, by the mid-1880s Bell-Smith was making a living in Ontario from the sale of his work. Enterprising and ambitious, he was a founding member of several Canadian artist groups. He was equally adept with oil and watercolour, and in representing a variety of subjects including portraits and cityscapes. In 1895 he was granted a private studio sitting from Queen Victoria and returned to London, later travelling to Paris for further study the following year. Bell-Smith is perhaps best known for his photographically inspired paintings of various western Canadian natural landmarks, including the Selkirk mountain range in British Columbia, which he painted while travelling on the Canadian Pacific Railway in the 1880s and 1890s.