Devoting his career to painting views of the countryside around Boston, the North Shore and the White Mountains, George Noyes reached the height of his career in the early part of the 20th century. He was one of the most highly respected landscape painters in Boston at that time, known for his "en plein air" method, but by the time of his death in 1954, he had been largely forgotten. He had outlived his active professional years, had left Boston, and had changed from a popular impressionistic style to a less popular post- impressionist, decorative style.
Born in Bothwell, Ontario, he was the son of U.S. citizens who had moved to Canada to search for oil. When the father died, leaving three young sons, the mother moved her family to East Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she ran a boarding house. He began painting at age 15 and took lessons from George Bartlett, an English artist and educator. By 1885, he was working for the New England Glass Company in Cambridge, painting fruit and flower pictures on glass. In 1890, he enrolled in Paris at the ateliers of Gustave Courtois, Joseph-Paul Blanc, and Paul-Louis Delance. In 1891, he began painting "en plein air," when he went to the French countryside with fellow students, and a year later his work was accepted into the French Salon, beginning his career as a professional artist.
In 1892, he returned to Boston where he established his studio and exhibited regularly with the Boston Art Club and the Boston Society of Water Color Painters. He traveled all over New England for subject matter, and in 1898 began painting and traveling with Frederic Edwin Church, including a trip to Mexico. In 1903, he married Mabel Winifred Hall, and he also started teaching classes whose students included N.C. Wyeth, Henry Peck and Clifford Warren Ashley. That same year, he began 3 years of teaching summer classes at Stanford University and lost many possessions in the earthquake of 1906. Until the 1930s, he lived primarily in Boston, and then moved briefly to Winter Park, Florida and then to Braden, Vermont, and finally to New Hampshire near Peterborough. A huge fire in a barn destroyed much of his life's work.