1939 William P. Silva "Garden of Dreams" Oil Painting
So this belonged to my great-grandmother, and she lived here in the Santa Clara Valley, and she had a number of pieces by this artist and other sort of early 20th century landscape painters.
Well, this is signed by William Silva. He was actually born in 1859 in Savannah. What was really interesting was that he didn't start painting until he was about 50 years old. He inherited a family hardware and chinaware business, and he worked in that business until he was nearly 50, and then he said, "I want to paint." Went off to Paris, studied and then quickly had a lot of success and recognition. He studied in Paris in 1907, moved to California in 1913, but he made frequent trips back to the Southeast. And when I was researching this painting, which is called, Garden of Dreams, I noticed there were other paintings with that title. Well, in fact, this refers to a series that he did at the Magnolia Plantation, which is just outside Charleston. And he was part of the Charleston Renaissance, which were a group of artists who worked in the Charleston area. This picture dates from 1939, it's a little later. It was such a famous garden that Matthew Brady, the Civil War photographer, came and took photographs. John James Audubon came to visit. They named a garden after him. I think if this were in a retail gallery, it would sell for about $25,000.
Wow. (chuckles) I was not expecting that.
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