This small Hudson River School landscape is a companion piece of Smillie's Mountainous Landscape (MABI 2882). The two contrast the beauty of the mountains with that of the rivers and lakeshores, and are framed as a matched pair. George Smillie belonged to a family of talented artists. He was a son of the artist James Smillie. He studied under his father and under the artist James Macdougal Hart. In 1881 George married Nellie Sheldon Jacobs, an art student of his brother James D. Smillie. The two brothers later shared a studio in New York City.
George Smillie visited Woodstock, Vermont on at least one occasion, though it is not known whether he was directly acquainted with the Billings family. A pencil sketch of a local footpath, from his hand and dated August 1905, was presented to the Rockefellers as a gift in the 1970s.