Elihu Vedder Biography | Oil Paintings.

2-26-1836 New York, USA - 1-29-1923 Rome, ITA

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Vedder, Elihu

Elihu Vedder childhood was spent between his grandfather house in Schenectady, N.Y. and a boarding school because his father went to Cuba. His mother supported his goals to be an artist while his father, a dentist, reluctantly consented.

Elihu Vedder trained in Sherburne, New York with Tompkins H. Matteson, then at the age of twenty in 1856, he went to Paris to study with François-Édouard Picot. The following year he moved to Florence to complete his studies and was strongly influenced by the Italian Renaissance works and also the modern Macchiaioli painters. Vedder's trips through the Italian countryside were cut short because Vedder's father cut off his financial stipend.

Vedder returned to the United States in 1860, penniless, he undertook commercial book illustrations and began to establish a reputation for imaginative literary paintings. He became a member of the Tile Club and the Century Association and other notable artistic and literary circles in New York City. In 1863 he was elected an associate of the National Academy of Design. Some of his most noteworthy paintings at this time are notable for their visionary nature, sentimental symbolism and often Oriental influences such as The Roc's Egg, The Fisherman and the Genie and one of his most well-known works, Lair of the Sea Serpent. At the end of the Civil War, he left America to live in Italy.

He visited Brittany with William Morris Hunt and Charles Caryl Coleman in 1866 and then settled in Rome, becoming a well-known expatriate figure. As a result of his friendship with Frederic Leighton in Florence, when Vedder visited London in 1869, he was able to set up critical relationships with Pre-Raphaelite artists. Vedder visited England many times, and was influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites, and was a friend of Simeon Solomon. He was also influenced by the work of English and Irish mystics such as William Blake and William Butler Yeats.

He painted murals for the hallway of the Reading Room of the Library of Congress in Washington and was commissioned by Louis Tiffany to design glassware, mosaics, and statuettes. After the financial success of his 1884 illustrations for his book Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, he lived on the Isle of Capri and in the early 1890s he built a villa on the island, where he resided for the rest of his life, but he continued to make frequent visits to the United States until 1901.

Art Movement: Symbolism Art, Pre-Raphaelites.
Artists Influencing Elihu Vedder: Tompkins H. Matteson, François-Édouard Picot.
He Traveled To Italy, France, Cuba, England.
Artist Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.

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