Herman Herzog was born in Bremen, Germany. He enrolled in the Dusseldorf Academy in 1848 and also took private lessons from the Norwegian painter Hans Frederick Gude (1825-1903). Herzog visited Norway in 1855, and the dramatic mountain views that he painted there earned him critical acclaim throughout Europe. He immigrated to the United States around 1870 and settled in Philadelphia, where his landscapes had already been exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts since 1863. Herzog traveled widely throughout the United States and Europe over the next sixty years in search of scenic landscapes, and intermittently exhibited at the Academy until 1880. By that time he had made a fortune through investments in the Pennsylvania Railroad, and for the remainder of his long career painted strictly for pleasure.
In 1873, Herzog took his first trip west, going to Yosemite, then to Wyoming, Oregon, and along the West Coast. He made several subsequent journeys west, finding each trip more fruitful than the last. He became known for his depictions of Yosemite, In 1876, Herzog participated in the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, showing a Yosemite landscape, which earned him a Bronze Medal.
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