The adopted son of Captain Gideon Liscomb Stanwood and Portland, Maine, Franklin Stanwood learned much of his father’s trade. 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.
Self-taught, Stanwood’s art thrived in a community which once rivaled Boston in cultural and economic significance to the American northeast. On commission, he painted portraits of homes and people, but his marine paintings provided his greatest acclaim. His tight, linear style -characteristic of many early 19th century artists- lent itself well to his chosen subjects, with precise rigging and accuracy of the weather’s impact a sailor knows well.
A life and career cut short by tragic illness, Stanwood’s works continue to live today. A dozen pictures of prominent Maine residences and one portrait are known, while several marines exist, mostly of ships on the open sea. His complete artistic output includes published poetry, under the pen name of “Verde”. A self-made artist who embodies the entrepreneurial American spirit.