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Francis Augustus Silva (American, 1835-1886)


A preeminent member of the Luminist Movement, New Yorker Francis A. Silva began his professional art career at the age of 35 after serving as a captain in the Civil War. His earliest known painting, Cape Ann from 1870, solidified his reputation as a painter of Northeastern seascapes with exaggerated, poetic light and atmosphere. His later works are marked by crisp delineation of forms, roiling clouds and waves, and brilliant light. An Art Journal critic remarked in 1880, "We have so few artists who are so accurate in drawing or so conscientious in the rendering of detail."

Silva's Luminist landscapes are in the collections of the Broad Street Realty Trust, Boston; Brooklyn Museum; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and Peabody Essex Museum, Salem.

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