William Louis Sonntag, Sr.

American, 1822 - 1900
William Louis Sonntag was born in East Liberty, Pennsylvania (near Pittsburgh), in 1822 and died in New York City in 1900. He is considered an 19th century landscape painter associated with the Hudson River School. In 1840, Sonntag moved to Cincinnati to study with Godfrey Frankelstein at the Cincinnati Academy of Fine Art. He maintained his studio there from the mid 1840's to the 1850's. He made regular painting trips to the Ohio River Valley and into the mountains of Virginia and Kentucky. Landscape painter Thomas Cole influences the paintings of this period.
Sonntag made his first trip to Europe in 1853 and returned in 1855 to study in Florence. Upon his return to the United States, he established his studio in New York City.

He became an associate member to the National Academy of Design in 1861. Sonntag exhibited at the Academy on a regular basis for over forty years.

American Watercolor Society
National Academy of Design

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.
Peabody Institute

Biography courtesy of Roughton Galleries, www.antiquesandfineart.com/roughton
William Louis Sonntag was a vital force in the Hudson River School movement. Inspired by the sweeping grandeur of the American landscape, Sonntag traveled extensively from his home in Cincinnati to the Ohio River Valley, Kentucky, and West Virginia to record his picturesque findings. He painted dramatic landscapes featuring cloud-filled vistas and majestic mountain ranges invested with a strong Romantic sentiment. Sonntag was elected an Academician of the National Academy of Design in 1861 and exhibited at all the major venues, including the Boston Art Club, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Brooklyn Art Association. Celebrated as one of the most influential American painters, Sonntag is represented in the collections of The White House, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection in Madrid, and the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia.

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