Wilbur H. Lansil is best known for his landscapes and paintings of cattle. He was the brother of Walter F. Lansil, the celebrated New England, maritime and Venetian painter.
Wilbur was born in the bustling New England port city of Bangor, Maine on February 24, 1855, the son of Asa P. Lansil and Betsy Grout Lansil. Bangor at the time was referred to as the "lumber capital of the world," and was one of the busiest ports on the east coast. The Lansil brothers, Wilbur and Walter, were descendants of a Bangor seafaring family. Their grandfather Charles V. Lansil was a Master Mariner, and their uncles James, Ephraim and George were sea captains. Through their grandmother Ruth Paine, Walter and Wilbur descended from many early Cape Cod families.
Wilbur's obituary, published June 28, 1897 in the New York Times "Death List of a Day," referred to him as ".one of the most promising cattle painters of this country." The obituary went on to say ". his paintings possessed those qualities which are seen in the work of Van Marke and Howe. His subjects were well-composed with a life-like action given to his animals. Careful drawing and fine color made his work of more than ordinary interest and merit."
In 1897, most of his paintings were owned in the Boston area. Today, his paintings occasionally come up for auction, as recently as August, 2008 in Maine. Wilbur Lansil died in 1897 in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
History of Penobscot County, Maine, pp 789-790
Death List of a Day, New York Times, June 28, 1897
Danforth/Lansil Genealogy, unpublished, compiled by Janet Elliott Danforth