Hermann Herzog

American, 1832 - 1932
Born in Bremen, Germany, Hermann Herzog began to study painting in Düsseldorf in 1848, with Schirmer, Lessing, Achenbach, and Gude. He was deeply influenced by his teachers who urged him to travel in search of “scenic beauty and inspiration,” and he chose landscape painting as his primary subject. In the flush of early success, Herzog exhibited paintings in Germany and France, winning a prize at the Paris Salon of 1863. He counted Queen Victoria, the Grand Duke Alexander of Russia, and other members of royalty among his patrons. While still living in Germany, Herzog sent paintings to the Pennsylvania Academy’s annual exhibitions from 1863 to 1869, establishing an American market for his work.

Possibly prompted by the Austro-Prussian War and the resulting civil unrest, he immigrated to the United States with his family in 1869. They settled in Philadelphia and Herzog began traveling widely throughout the eastern United States painting scenes of Niagara Falls, Lake George, the Chesapeake Bay, New Hampshire’s White Mountains and the Maine coast in his meticulous, polished style. Interested in capturing atmospheric moods, he would get up at three in the morning, and set up his materials outside to capture the first light of dawn. In the mid-1870s, Herzog made his first trip out West, discovering the breathtaking, mountainous landscapes of Utah, Oregon and California’s Yosemite Valley, and towards the end of the 19th century he began producing Florida landscapes inspired by the region’s tropical, lush foliage.

Nature was Herzog’s chosen muse and the varied landscapes that he painted, whether the jagged fjords of Norway, the exotic riverbanks of Florida, the majestic cliffs of Yosemite or the tranquil, woodland interiors of the East Coast, attest to his versatility and talent. A Walk along a Path at Sunset shows the painter in a more poetic, contemplative mood, with its subtle gradation of sunlight, and warm and cool contrasts. The lone figure is seen not as an intruder, but a welcome guest in harmony with her surroundings.

In addition to the Pennsylvania Academy, Herzog occasionally showed at the National Academy of Design and the Brooklyn Art Association, and won a bronze medal at Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876. Today his work can be found in several museum collections, including the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum, the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Orlando Museum of Art, and the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming.
Hermann Herzog (American, 1832-1932)

Herzog was born in Bremen, Germany in 1832. He studied landscape and figure paintings at the Dusseldorf Academy with Schirmer, Lessing, Achenbach and Gude (1849) and in Berlin (1867-1868) before moving to Philadelphia in 1869 where he set up a studio and exhibited at the Brooklyn Art Association.

Historical landscape painter Johann Wilhelm Schirmer and illustrious landscape artists Hans Frederick Gude and Andreas Achenbach highly influenced Herzog's painting style and encouraged him to paint the rugged wilderness he loved with realistic detail and a high finish. Herzog traveled through Europe during the 1850s and 1860s painting the animals, waterfalls and stormy clouds over dramatic landscapes in luminous light, exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1863 (where he won a prize) and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (1863). In 1872 he painted in Yosemite and in Mexico.

By 1869, Herzog was a popular painter of means. He had sold paintings all over Europe and colleagues and critics alike were impressed that among his clientele were the Countess of Flanders, Emperor Alexander of Russia, Queen Victoria, Duke Ernest of Saxe-Coburg-Gothe, and other members of royal families.

When Herzog died in West Philadelphia at 100, the prolific painter left over 1,000 canvases to his heirs. Always in pursuit of the most beautiful, idyllic view, Herzog extensively traveled in search of it. Although he never dated his work (thus, it is difficult to place them chronologically or stylistically), he painted landscapes, marines and pastorals that uplifted the Hudson River tradition, and his work is reminiscent of Albert Bierstadt and Worthington Whittredge (who also studied in Dusseldorf).

Collections: Metropolitan Museum of Art; National Museum of American Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; New York Public Library; Crocker Museum (CA); Cincinnati Art Museum (OH); Reading Museum (PA); Hanover, Goth and Mulhouse Museums; Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley; Memorial Hall, Philadelphia (PA).

Biography courtesy of Roughton Galleries, www.antiquesandfineart.com/roughton
Hermann Herzog's life spanned one hundred years during a time when new artistic styles and methods appeared with great frequency. Born in Bremen, Germany, Herzog studied at the famed Dusseldorf Academy at just seventeen years of age. Dusseldorf was a hub of the international art world: American artists including Albert Bierstadt, James Hart, Worthington Whittredge, and Eastman Johnson learned their craft there. At the time of Herzog's enrollment, the academy implemented a major shift in program, altering its focus from history painting to landscape painting. This was a fortuitous occurrence for Herzog, whose artistic impulse found its greatest expression in landscape.

Herzog was an avid traveler and painted nearly the entire European continent. His distinguished patrons included Queen Victoria of England and Grand Duke Alexander of Russia. He received international mention and won medals from prestigious exhibitions before immigrating to the United States and settling in Philadelphia in 1869. In America, Herzog discovered a virgin landscape free from the taint of history. His instinct for exploration led him to traverse the continent; his journeys spanned from east to west and from Maine to Florida. As he hiked and biked unceasingly, his affinity for the new land intensified.

It was during this period that Herzog harnessed his extensive academic training in service of a highly refined personal style. The lifelong Herzog authority Don S. Lewis Jr. cites three major factors that distinguish the artist's style: Realism, Tonalism, and an autographic tendency. Within Herzog's body of work, these influences cannot be disentangled chronologically and are frequently combined in new and surprising ways. Yet throughout his oeuvre, he remained steadfast in his romantic view of the world, and a close inspection of his work reveals his unique and highly distinguishable artistic fingerprint.

Herzog exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the National Academy of Design, and the Brooklyn Art Association, and won prizes from the Paris Salon and the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition. His work is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the White House.

Biography courtesy of Questroyal Fine Art, LLC, www.antiquesandfineart.com/questroyal
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