oil on canvas, signed and inscribed verso, 14"x18", dated 1888
Stuart Henry Bell (1823 - 1896). Marine and scenic painter in oil. Born at Newcastle of a family which could trace its decent from the Royal Stuarts of Scotland. Bell became connected with Tyneside theatres in his boyhood, and is said to have become a scene painter at an early age. His first commission was to paint scenery for the Theatre Royal, Newcastle, following which he was engaged in this line by almost every metropolitan and provincial theatre, from 1850 achieving special recognition for his marine back-drops. In 1855 he moved to Sunderland and eventually devoted himself to being a professional artist painting marine subjects in oil. He then achieved such accomplishment that it is said that in 1886 Queen Victoria regarded him as the best marine painter since Clarkson Stanfield RA (1793-1867). His work was exhibited principally at Newcastle including the Central Exchange News Room Art Gallery and Polytechnic Exhibition, Newcastle in 1870. Where he showed Entrance to Sunderland Harbour(his favourite subject). He was also a regular exhibitor at the Bewick Club, Newcastle and the Central Exchange Gallery. Sunderland Art Gallery has an excellent collection of his marine paintings, dated 1857 - 1896.