On a quiet sunny Saturday afternoon, two young boys, we’ll call them Jimmy and John, take a walk into town in the hope of finding something fun to do to pass the time. They take the back roads and alleys between buildings to avoid the busy streets. As they reach the bridge over the Polperro river they notice a group of ducks trying to catch bugs or even better, a fish for their lunch. There is also a sweet woman at the edge of the river washing her linens using the clear, warm water from the stream, and a broken-down cart on the other side of the stream. That cart catches their attention first. They ponder the idea of whether they could fix that wagon and pull each other around town in it? “Better not. That’ll get us in trouble.” Jimmy says as the voice of reason. John suggests another option, “Should we chase the ducks?” Jimmy shakes his head and says, “Better not. They’re trying to eat.” John sighs with disappointment… a final attempt of recommending entertainment, John proposes in excitement “We could drop pebbles down on that lady!!” Without hesitation Jimmy proclaims, “Definitely better not. She’ll tell our folks and we’ll be grounded for the rest of our lives.” Well, what are two young boys to do on a quiet sunny Saturday afternoon in Polperro, England in 1896? Well, that’s up to YOUR imagination. This is a phenomenal realism landscape oil painting by Hely Augustus Morton Smith (a.k.a. Hely Smith.) Famous for its idyllic appearance and ancient fisherman’s cottages, Polperro is a seaside picturesque fishing village on a rocky coastline with narrow, cobbled alleys and houses perched on slopes above a pretty harbor located in Looe, the south-east Cornwall area. There is a lovely scenic walk between Looe, Cornwall (where Hely Smith lived for some time) and Polperro. It follows the southwest coast path for just over 5 miles and has stunning views all the way. Many of these scenes were inspiration for Hely Smith’s phenomenal creations. This original oil painting titled “Polperro” dated 1896 is prime example of his masterful art. The intricately detailed image is a 20 x 30 canvas, and it is housed by the original elaborate 33 x 43-inch baroque style gilded frame comprised of scrolls down the edges and acanthus leaves on each corner… it is INCREDIBLE!!! This is an absolutely, fabulous landscape or realism style MASTERPIECE and is sure to be a powerful statement on any wall in any room of your home.
Hely Smith (a.k.a. Hely Augustus Morton Smith) was born in Warnbrook, Dorset, England on January 15, 1862. He left school at the age of seventeen and moved to Lincolnshire to study at the Lincoln School of Art and at the Antwerp Academy in Belgium. He also spent some time living and working on the East Coast of the United States. He was based in Looe, in Cornwall, England for much of the 1890’s until 1899 when he moved to London. He was a painter of marine subjects, shipping, townscapes, portraits and flower studies in oil and watercolor. Hely Smith was friends with an Austro-Hungarian portrait painter, Philip de Laszlo, with whom he went on painting expeditions. Smith was also acquainted with Vincent Van Gogh. Paintings by Hely Smith are held by Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery, Plymouth Art Gallery and RAMM. He passed away in 1941.
An incredible moment in time captured on canvas by the hands of master talent Hely Smith, dated 1896. Surely you have fallen in love with it. Don’t hesitate… Make it YOURS!!!