Europeans & Americans Abroad; Philadelphia Collection 73; September 2004
Herman Herzog
(American, born Germany, 1832–1932)
Norwegian Waterfall in Hemsdalen
Oil on canvas, 22 × 29 inches
Signed at lower left: “H. Herzog”
Label (handwritten in ink) on stretcher verso: “86.”
RECORDED: Hand List of 1,000 Paintings: Private Collection of Paintings by H. Herzog, no. 86

For most of his very long—eighty-five years—and productive career, travel was Herman Herzog’s greatest inspiration. Born in Bremen, Germany, Herzog entered the Düsseldorf Academy at the age of seventeen; Andreas Achenbach (1815–1910) was the teacher who had the most lasting impact on his painting style. Another teacher was the Norwegian artist Hans Frederick Gude (1825–1903), who encouraged his young student to visit Norway. Herzog’s 1855 visit to that country awakened him to the sublime and wild aspects of nature. He exhibited widely on the continent, winning awards in Paris, Liège, and Brussels. Herzog painted seascapes of the North Sea off the coasts of Holland, Belgium, and Germany early in his career and later, after his move to the United States, in paintings that are probably based on earlier sketches.

Disturbed by the political situation in Germany, Herzog immigrated to the United States sometime in the late 1860s or early 1870s, settling in West Philadelphia, where he and his wife raised two sons. Even before his arrival, his paintings had been shown in several of the annual exhibitions of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia (beginning in 1863 with Norwegian Landscape).

Herzog’s work was well received, and his profitable investment of the income from the sale of his paintings allowed him to stop selling his art, which remained largely in his family’s possession. The Schwarz Gallery has been collecting paintings by Herzog for years, and in December 1979 published a catalogue devoted to his work: Herman Herzog (1832–1932). The Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, held a major Herzog exhibition in 1992; the exhibition catalogue, American Paintings of Herman Herzog, includes an essay by Donald S. Lewis, Jr.

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