Henry Bayley Snell traveled the world extensively, but spent much of his life in the scenic Delaware River Valley in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He was one of the earliest artists to settle there and soon became affiliated with the regions New Hope School of American Impressionism which was founded by the noted tonal painter, William Langson Lathrop.
Snell earned a strong reputation as a marine and landscape painter. He was also a prominent instructor at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women for more than 40 years. Frequently he taught his students by traveling with them, while himself painting fine works, in locations such as England, France, Holland, Spain and India.
His style of painting was unique in comparison to his colleagues. His preferred inclination was to paint on modest size canvases with broad, flat strokes of pigment. Snell often used soft, pervading hues to illuminate his works which were usually painted on location. It is through these qualifications that he contributed much to the New Hope, Pennsylvania region and in turn, drew younger and similarly ambitious artists to the area.