SOLD Sunset Rock, Catskill Mountains, 1865by George Henry Smillie (1840–1921)
10½ x 18 inches
Signed and dated lower right: Geo. H. Smillie. ’65 –; on stretcher bar: G. H. “SUNSET ROCK, CATSKILL MTS.” 10½” x 18”; on verso: Sunset Rock Catskill Mts. / Geo. H. Smillie – 1865.
Kennedy Galleries, New York, New York
Sale, Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, New York, October 28, 1976, lot 68
David Harrison, Kensington, Maryland
Private collection, Bethesda, Maryland, acquired from above, 1980
Kenneth Myers, The Catskills: Painters, Writers, and Tourists in the Mountains, 1820–1895 (Yonkers, NY: The Hudson River Museum of Westchester, 1987), 181.
Brucia Witthoft, “George Smillie: The Life of an Artist,” American Art Review 5 (Summer 1992): 122, 128, plate 3.
Note: This painting depicts Kaaterskill Clove, a large valley in the Catskill Mountains of New York. The artist captures the breathtaking vista from the viewpoint of a high peak known as Sunset Rock – a spot made famous by some of the most influential painters of the Hudson River School, like Sanford Robinson Gifford and Thomas Cole. George Henry Smillie visited the Catskills on several occasions with his brother (and fellow painter) James David Smillie.
Born into an artistic family, George Smillie became a well-known landscape painter at the end of the nineteenth century. Raised in New York City, George first trained as an engraver under his father, James H. Smillie. He went on to study painting with James McDougal Hart, a leading member of the Hudson River School (and part of his own artistic dynasty). Smillie began exhibiting at the National Academy of Design at the age of twenty-two and became known for his polished, realistic landscapes. He made frequent painting trips to the Adirondack Mountains and the White Mountains; rode through the West
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