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 Francis Guy  (1760 - 1820)

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Lived/Active: New York/Maryland      Known for: town-estate-landscape and genre painting

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Ad Code: 1
Francis Guy
from Auction House Records.
Winter Scene in Brooklyn
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Lorton in the Lake District of England, Francis Guy became one of the earliest landscape painters in America and did work that reflected its evolution from picturesque scenes tied to European tradition to topographical studies to settings where the artist worked.

As a young man, he was a silk dyer in London, and then in 1795, emigrated to New York and established a silk dyeing plant in Brooklyn.

He failed at this endeavor and experimented in other mediums including dentistry, tailoring, and art.   From 1798 to 1817, he lived in Baltimore where he painted a series of murals for the Fountain Inn and did country estate painting commissions.  Many of his estate paintings had figures going about various dalily-life activities.  He also did a view of the newly constructed cathedral in Baltimore in 1812, and during the 1812 war with England, recorded marine battles.  He also decorated many pieces of Federalist furniture.

He lived the last part of his life in Brooklyn, painting over 400 works.  His last major work was a large genre painting, Winter Scene in Brooklyn, 1819-1820, one of the earliest paintings to enter the collection of the Brooklyn Museum collection.  Another painting with the same title, completed about the same time, is in a private collection and was exhibited with its counterpart at the Museum in March 2006.

"Painted from the second-story window of his house on Front Street, Guy's two large winter scenes provide a glimpse into the burgeioning village---its bustling activity, architecture and colorful residents."  (Antiques)

Francis Guy died in 1820, leaving more than 400 paintings attributed to him.

Sources include:
Michael David Zellman, 300 Years of American Art
Antiques and The Arts Weekly, "Brooklyn Museum Reunites Pair of Francis Guy Paintings March 20"
Peter Falk, Who Was Who in American Art

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