The Messiah signed 'Herbert Carmichael' (lower right) oil on canvas, unframed 135 x 70.5cm (53 1/8 x 27 3/4in).
Herbert Gustave Schmalz was born to a German father near Newcastle, but moved to London at the age of seventeen to study art at the Royal Academy with contemporaries such as Sir Frank Dicksee and Arthur Hacker. Schmalz complimented his London education with a Continental view by studying for a time in the Academie Royale des Beaux Arts in Antwerp. He was known for painting classical, historical, and religious scenes, and after his time in Antwerp, in 1890 he travelled to Jerusalem which aided in developing his depictions of scenes of biblical subjects. Schmalz's style of painting began in the Pre-Raphaelite vein, but with time his style became more Neoclassical in nature. He played with differences in light and dark, creating a contemplative feel to some of his paintings, exemplified in this work.
He was a successful artist in his time, friends with artists like Fredric, Lord Leighton PRA, amongst others, and before his death in 1935, his works were not only featured in a solo show in 1900 at the Fine Art Society, but were also the subject of Trevor Blakemore's 1911 descriptive publication.