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 George (Smith) Armfield  (1808 - 1893)

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Lived/Active: United Kingdom      Known for: domestic animal paintings

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
A FOX STALKING THREE RABBITS
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Cotai Fine Art:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

George Armfield Smith (for by this name he was known until the year 1840) was born in Wales.  (Actually Bristol: according to Armfield family information)  His father was a painter, who for some time had a studio at 54, Pall Mall, London, (His father was the portrait painter William Armfield Hobday (1771-1831)) and from his father, George Armfield obtained any artistic tuition he may have received. 

He first exhibited in the year 1839, at the British Institution, when he showed two pictures, the "Study of a Dog's Head" and "Terrier chasing a Rabbit."  These works must have attracted notice, for in the Sporting Magazine of the following year, 1840, we find the first of a long series of his pictures which were engraved for that publication.  In 1840 he exhibited for the first time at the Royal Academy, showing two pictures, "Fox and Wild Rabbits" and "Terrier and Rabbit," and, as the lists show, he continued to exhibit with regularity at both the Academy and the British Institution for the ensuing twenty years.  He also sent pictures frequently to the Suffolk Street exhibitions. 

The British Institution catalogue gives his address in 1839 as 15, Lamb's Conduit Passage; but if he resided there at this time, he could not have remained long, as he spent practically all his life at Camberwell, Clapham, and Brixton.  His best period extended from 1840 to about 1869, and during these years his output was large.  About 1870 his sight began to fail, and in 1872 he submitted to an operation on one of his eyes at Guy's Hospital, when Dr. Bader removed the lens.  The operation was only partially successful, and his powers rapidly declined, he became the victim of fits of acute depression, in one of which he attempted to take his own life.  He recovered from the self-inflicted wound, and continued to paint, but was able to work only with the aid of a powerful glass and on small canvases.

Biography from Artworld International:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Painter of Genre, hunting, animals, especially terrier chasing birds, cats or mice, George Armfield, also known as George Armfield Smith, in addition did landscapes, dead game birds and wild animals.  His small dog pictures often were passed off as Landseer.

- Benezit Dictionary of Artist, submitted by Karen Ledbetter.

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