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collections > permanent collection > paintings >HERMANN HERZOG
 
Hermann Herzog
(American, b. Germany, 1832-1932)
Untitled Landscape, n.d.
Oil on linen, 20" x 28"
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David P. O'Neill (99.111)

 

Herman Herzog painted dramatic landscapes both in Europe and the United States.  Works such as the Museum’s Untitled reflect the Hudson River School’s emphasis on awe-inspiring scenery, yet the artist’s style was primarily shaped by teachers from Germany and Norway.  The subject of the Museum’s canvas, a wildly foaming wilderness cataract, was popular in Nordic landscape painting, and can be seen in the work of Andreas Achenbach and Hans Frederick Gude, two of Herzog’s chief influences.  American viewers would have been quite comfortable with the painting, however, and although Herzog arrived in the United States as the Hudson River School was beginning to wane in popularity, his landscapes found a ready audience among more conservative art patrons. 

 

Born in Bremen, Germany, Herzog studied at the Dusseldorf Academy and with Gude, a Norwegian painter noted for his mountain scenes.  His work found favor among European royalty, including Queen Victoria and Grand Duke Alexander of Russia.  Dissatisfied with the prospect of German unification, Herzog immigrated to the United States around 1870.  He settled in Philadelphia, but traveled widely, visiting Niagara Falls, Yosemite, Maine, and Florida.  Although he exhibited his work and was able to earn his livelihood from painting, he generally stood apart from the American art scene. Herzog preferred to paint his chosen subjects in his own outmoded style, and thanks to careful investments, he was able to live comfortably into his hundredth year.