Francis Augustus Silva Biography | Oil Paintings
8-1835 New York, USA – 1-16-1886 New York, USABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Francis Augustus Silva manifested artistic talent from an early age and was completely self-taught. At the age thirteen, he exhibited pen and ink drawings at the American Institute of the City of New York. His artistic career began as a sign painter and a painter of designs on stagecoach wooden panels. He set up his first art studio in 1858, at age of twenty-three, but his painting career was short lived when he joined the 1st New York Volunteer Infantry and served in the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865, he was finally discharged in 1868. The same year, he married, had his first exhibit at the National Academy of Design and the Brooklyn Art Association, 1868 marked the start of his painting career.
Throughout most of the 1870s, Francis Augustus Silva kept a studio in New York City and took frequent painting trips up the East Coast, painting marine subjects and seascapes at Boston, Cape Ann, Narragansett Bay, the Hudson River, and especially New York City, painted in his style of dramatically lit, atmospheric Luminism. Silva also traveled to Venice in 1879, creating marine views and capturing the luminous atmosphere and bustle of its famed harbors.
His fondness for painting harbor views nearby NYC and boat and shipwreck scenes in Brooklyn and Long Island were all exhibited at the Brooklyn Art Association exhibitions between 1869 to 1885. Around 1880 Silva moved to the seaside village of Long Branch, New Jersey but kept a studio in the famous Tenth Street Studio Building in lower Manhattan between 1882–86, were many of the artists of the Hudson River School worked. He painted scenes along the New Jersey coasts until his death in 1886 at the age of fifty.
Francis Augustus Silva carefully constructed compositions are known for their sense of diminishing perspective, in much the same style employed by Fitz Hugh Lane and Martin Johnson Heade. His paintings are equally known for their sense of tranquility and a poetic, almost nostalgic quality.
Art Movement: Luminism, Hudson River School.
He Traveled To Italy.
Artist Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist.