ArtworksFrederic Marlett Bell-SmithQueen Victoria's Jubilee Procession Passing the National Gallery, London, 1897 (June 22)1846-1923Sold
Inscriptionssigned & dated, 'F.M. Bell-Smith / 1897' (lower right)
ProvenancePrivate collection, Toronto,
Cowley Abbott, Toronto.
Queen Victoria’s Jubilee took place on June 22nd, 1897, marking the 60th anniversary of her inheritance of the British throne. A seventeen-carriage convoy carried Queen Victoria, the royal family and leaders of Britain’s dominions from Buckingham Palace to St. Paul’s Cathedral for the six-mile procession. F.M. Bell-Smith has captured this important historical event with vigour, depicting London as a sea of colour. Soldiers in black form a human fence along the edge of the procession, dotted with bright red figures, with Union Jacks suspended from every corner and rainbows of bunting draped overhead. The poetic charm and energy of the composition is evident.
Bell-Smith was employed as a freelance illustrator by various publications, including the “Canadian Illustrated News”. The artist was commissioned to visit London for the Jubilee celebrations. He made notes on the passing pageantry and took photographs as a frame of reference during the actual execution of the final paintings. Bell-Smith applied his academic training and traditional artistic style in the various works of this significant event that he produced and included a watercolour in the Nineteenth Exhibition of the Royal Canadian Academy in 1898.
Roger Boulet, “Frederic Marlett Bell-Smith (1846-1923)”, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, 1977, pages 80-81 for similar compositions.7of 430