Born at Warnbrook, Dorset, the son of a clergyman, Hely Smith studied at the Lincoln School of Art and at the Antwerp Academy. He worked abroad before being based in Looe for much of the 1890s, and, as he specialised in marine subjects, he may have studied under, or become friendly with, OLSSON at this time (Tovey). By 1899 he had moved to London.
A correspondent (2021) who is a great-great nephew to the artist, has written to offer additional information about him, provided by the correspondent's mother, who knew Hely Smith well. The correspondent is the proud owner of around 100 of the artist's paintings.
Apparently 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. A letter written by Hely Smith in 1941 suggests he was very active and lucid until shortly before his death.
Painter of marine subjects, portraits and flower studies in oil and watercolour
works and access
Work includes: A Stormy Evening
Access to Work: V&A; QMDH; Plymouth; Christchurch, NZ
B (41); Dudley G (39); GI; L (14); RA (21); RBA (10), Ridley (45); ROI; RSA; Walker G (London) 3; SS (1); STISA 1934, 36 and 37 Touring Shows
RBA 1902 onwards (Treasurer 1902); Artists' Society (Treasurer); Langham Sketching Club; STISA 1934-41
Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall (p346)
Johnson & Greutzner
The Studio Special 1919 British Marine Painting;
Tovey Creating a Splash
Tovey St Ives Society of Artists (list 1927-52)
Tovey, David (2021) Polperro - Cornwall's Forgotten Art Centre - Volume One - Pre-1920, Wilson Books
Who's Who in Art 1934
Year's Art 1894