Smith was born on St. Paul Street, Baltimore. He trained initially as an engineer but later taught himself to paint in watercolors. He traveled extensively, producing watercolors which were reproduced in deluxe "travel books," such as "Gondola Days" (1897) and "The Venice of To-Day" (1897) as well as various magazines. He was also the author of many popular books.

The artist regarded this view of the Grand Canal showing the 17th-century church, Santa Maria della Salute, as one of his masterpieces.


  • Title: "Over a Balcony," View of the Grand Canal, Venice
  • Creator: Francis Hopkinson Smith (American, 1838-1915)
  • Date Created: ca. 1897
  • External Link: For more information about this and thousands of other works of art in the Walters Art Museum collection, please visit art.thewalters.org
  • Roles: Artist: Francis Hopkinson Smith (American, 1838-1915)
  • Provenance: William T. or Henry Walters, Baltimore, before 1895 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
  • Object Type: watercolors
  • Medium: watercolor on paper
  • Inscriptions: ll[Signature] Lower right: F. Hopkinson Smith
  • Exhibitions: Italian Vistas: Selections from the Permanent Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1992-1993., Venice: The American View, 1860-1920. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco. 1984-1985.
  • Dimensions: H: 31 5/8 x W: 20 7/8 in. (80.3 x 53 cm)
  • Credit Line: Acquired by William T. Walters or Henry Walters before 1895
  • Classification: Painting & Drawing
  • Accession Number: 37.1109

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