George Hetzel USA
1-18-1826 Hangviller, FRA – 7-4-1899 Pittsburg, USABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
George Hetzel born in an ethnically mixed part of Alsace, France on January 17, 1826; Hetzel’s family spoke primarily German and emigrated to the United States when he was aged two. Hetzel attended Allegheny City school and was apprenticed to a local sign-and house-painter. After four years' training, he earned an artisan’s apprenticeship, painting the interior murals of riverboat public rooms and local Pittsburgh saloons.
George Hetzel was sent to the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf between 1847–49 and studied Da Vinci’s Chiaroscuro (the use of light and dark shadows to heighten depth and drama), which became a signature stroke in his later works.
It is thought that Hetzel was first introduced to the bucolic setting of Scalp Level around 1866 during a fishing trip. He was then an instructor at the Pittsburgh School of Design for Women and encouraged his colleagues and students to make Scalp Level their summer retreat and work "en plein air".
George Hetzel exhibited at the National Academy in New York between 1865-1882 and at the Pennsylvania Academy until 1891. He was included in the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia and shown in the first Carnegie International in 1896. He also exhibited at the World's Columbian Exposition, 1892-1893.
Movement: Barbizon School