J a m e s  D a v i d
1833 - 1909


"Up the Hill"
Original Etching, 1879



J. D. Smillie, 1900

James David Smillie was an accomplished nineteenth century American etcher and painter and was instrumental in a revival of etching in the latter half of the nineteenth century. In the late 1880's, Smillie was commissioned by the Smithsonian Institute to create drypoints, mezzotints, soft ground etchings and aquatints as examples for other artists to follow.  In Up the Hill, for instance, he spread thin layers of ink upon the plate to create areas of strong tonal values.

Smillie was a founding member of the influential New York Etching Club and later became its president. He also served as president of the American Water Color Society from 1873 to 1879.

This original etching by Smillie, created and printed in 1879, is a classic work that represents the best of his style and technique.  It is signed with his characteristic signature in the lower left corner of the plate and marked No. 10 in the lower right corner. The image is 12.7 x 20 cm (5 x 7 7/8 inches), plate mark is 13.3 x 21.5 cm  (5 1/4 x 8 1/2) and the paper is 27 x 37.5 cm (10 3/4 x 14 3/4 inches).  It is printed in very dark brown on a light tan wove paper.  The print is perfect.

Up the Hill was also rendered by Smillie in oil, but differs from the etching in several respects, notably as depicting the scene in winter.

Imagi Gallery

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RPF 1195