DescriptionFROM THE FLANNER & BUCHANAN CORPORATE COLLECTION
FRANCIS HOPKINSON SMITH (American, 1838-1915)
Middle Eastern Scene Outside a Mosque
Watercolor, gouache and graphite on paper
13 x 24 inches (33.0 x 61.0 cm)
Signed lower left: F. Hopkinson Smith
Christie's, New York, n.d. (label verso).
The versatile and talented Francis Hopkinson Smith enjoyed successful careers as an engineer, artist, and writer. After the Civil War, he and partner James Symington established the engineering firm they were to run for thirty years, undertaking the construction of the foundation for the Statue of Liberty, the Block Island breakwater, the Staten Island seawall, and the Race Rock lighthouse.
Smith was self-taught as a painter. He illustrated some of his own books, which included twelve novels and numerous travel journals. His books proved so popular that he was able to retire from engineering and devote his time to travel. Smith was a popular speaker and raconteur, and his after-dinner stories provided the basis of his first novel. For over thirty years he spent summers in Venice, painting "en plein air" in watercolor, his favorite medium. With Arthur Quartley and Charles Stanley Reinhart, Smith was part of the artist colony at Cold Spring Harbor, New York.
He won many awards, exhibiting at the Brooklyn Art Association, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Boston Art Club, the Pan-American Exposition (1901), and the Charleston Exposition (1902). His work is highly collected and part of many museum holdings including the Albright-Knox Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Columbus Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, National Portrait Gallery, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, among others.
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