Frederic Marlett Bell-Smith

b. 1846 - d. 1923

Frederic Marlett Bell-Smith received his early art training in London, England and came to Montréal in 1867. He worked in photographic firms in Montréal and then in Hamilton, Ontario, and Toronto, and exhibited primarily watercolours of sporting subjects.

In 1881 he was appointed art director at Alma College in St Thomas, Ont, and in the 1880s sketched in Québec, Maine and the Rocky Mountains. From 1888 his income was derived from sales of his work, and he exhibited regularly. His attempts to obtain official government patronage in 1895 and in 1897, on the occasion of Queen Victoria's Jubilee, were unsuccessful. Nevertheless, he did achieve some notoriety in being granted a sitting by the queen in 1895.

Bell-Smith was a popular and prolific artist. He was especially known for his landscapes from the Rocky Mts and the Selkirk Range, where he often travelled, as well as for London and Paris street scenes.

Excerpt courtesy of the Canadian Encyclopedia