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"September Evening"

"September Evening"

16" x 24", Oil on Canvas 20143

Franklin Stanwood (1852-1888)

Marine painter, Franklin Stanwood entered Portland, Maine's art scene at the height of it. Born at the Portland Alms House on March 16, 1852, he was listed on his birth certificate as the son of Margaret Barclay. Samuel Stanwood of Scarborough, Maine took Franklin and his mother in. Samuel felt for them but did not have sufficient money to adopt the boy. So he asked his brother, Gideon Stanwood to adopt him.


Franklin attended the public school in Portland and later Gorham Academy near Portland, there he began writing (inspired by Shakespeare and Poe). After graduation Franklin was attracted to the sea and went as a mariner to Europe, the West Indies, and around the Horn. "View on the Pampas of Peru" his first known oil painting was created on one of these voyages.


He served as a mariner on several voyages to Europe, the west Indies and around Cape Horn. His first known oil painting is of the Peruvian coast and dates to 1873. By 1877, he had established himself with local patrons, enough to quit the sea and paint full-time, from a studio he started in Portland. Around the same time- under the pen name "Verde," Stanwood published his first poem in the Portland Press. While living in Gorham, he opened a studio at 167 Fore Street in Portland, according to the city directories. Two years later he was living in Portland at 188 Spring Street and had his studio at 191 Middle Street. 


Stanwood was a self-taught artist "whose tight, linear style characteristic of the 1850's was admirably suited to the subject matter he favored." Paintings of houses and portraits sustained the artist. Today several house paintings survive and a single portrait does too. He was also known to have painted at least two genre pictures and some landscapes. 


The death of his adopted father, Gideon Stanwood and low sales of his paintings forced him to head back to Gorham in the mid-1880's. There he opened his studio in the Stanwood family barn. The artist died of Tuberculosis in 1888.



William David Barry, "Franklin Stanwood, Portland Marine Painter" Antiques, October 1981




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