WALTER FRANKLIN LANSIL (American / 1846-1925)

Walter Franklin Lansil was born in Bangor, Maine, in 1846. He studied originally under J. P. Hardy in Bangor, alongside his younger brother Wilbur. In 1872 the brothers moved to Boston, which remained their base. However in 1888 they headed for Paris, to study at the Académie Julian. Walter F. Lansil was profoundly influenced not by the Impressionists but by their precursors, the plein-air artists of the Barbizon School, and also by the Barbizon painter of Venice, Félix Ziem. Although the bulk of Walter Lansil's work reflects his home territory on the coast of New England, he continued to visit and paint Venice for the rest of his life. Our etching by Walter Franklin Lansil, Ships in Boston Harbor (or Vessels in Boston Harbor) was made in 1879, before his time in Paris, but already shows the Barbizon influence. This was Lansil's first etching, made with "a sewing-needle and a knitting-needle" on a zinc plate. Although it shows an immense gift for printmaking, we believe this was not just the first but also the last of Walter Lansil's etchings; at least, we have not come across any others.

See also:


Ships in Boston
Harbor, 1879

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