Louis Sylvia was a marine painter, an artist whose love of the waterfront, old sailing vessels and the sea shone brightly on the canvas where he practiced his craft for many years.

Not a lot is known about Louis Sylvia, but here is what I've learned.

Born in the city in 1911, Sylvia honed his talent at New Bedford's former Swain School of Design, the National Academy of Design in New York City and the Art Students League of New York.

AskArt.com says Sylvia studied with noted artists Harry Neyland and Aldro Hibbard. The site says Yachting Magazine has featured Sylvia's work.

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According to ArtPrice.com, Sylvia exhibited his work at Jordan Marsh in Boston, the Mystic Arts Festival in Mystic, Connecticut (1963-72), and Washington, D.C., among other places. Sylvia's paintings won awards at the Mystic Art Festival and the Seaside Florida Art Festival.

Sylvia reportedly worked for art museums in Norway and Lisbon and taught art classes at Roosevelt Middle School in New Bedford from 1957 to 1965.

Invaluable.com says Sylvia's artwork, mainly oil on canvas, has been offered at auctions worldwide. A vintage 1943 Louis Sylvia painting of downtown New Bedford is currently offered for sale on eBay.

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A signature Sylvia painting is a 24x30-inch oil painting of Center Street in New Bedford. Sylvia's oil on canvas, "Portrait of the Whale Ship Wanderer," was valued at between $1,200 and $1,800 by Rafael Osona Auctions in August 2023.

Sylvia, also noted for painting with watercolor on paper – some are still available – died in 1987.

Many of the classic New Bedford marine paintings you'll see were probably the work of Louis Sylvia.

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