Henry Pember Smith, Landscape With Lake

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This fine 19th-century rural landscape by Henry Pember Smith (1854-1907) is an absolute triumph in its rendering of light. The artist has opted for a time of the day when the sun is immediately above and emerging between a series of dense clouds. Several fruit trees seem to sit within interesting pools of shadows.

Towards the middle of the scene, the earth almost glows as a wide channel of light extends from the foreground towards a nearby lake. The lake itself is illuminated and reflecting a distant copse.

Smith was born in Connecticut and is highly regarded for his landscapes and pastoral scenes. Along with many of his contemporaries, he met a growing need for idealised visions of rural American life, against the reality of increasing urbanisation.

His works are held in various museums and galleries, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of the City of New York, the Brooklyn Art Museum, and the Butler Institute of American Art.

During his lifetime, he exhibited regularly with venues including the National Academy of Design, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago, and with the Brooklyn Arts Association.

Signed in the lower right.

Oil on canvas
Size including frame 23½” x 17⅔” / 60cm x 45cm x 4cm
Year of creation c. 1880 - c. 1907
Condition Relined. Craquelure and small areas of retouching. Frame with light scuff marks.
Artist’s auction highlight £24,015 achieved for ‘San Martino, Venice’ at Sotheby's USA in 2000.