Featured 19th Century Painter: OTTO SOMMER (1811 – 1911)

  • March 03, 2021 07:49

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OTTO SOMMER (1811 – 1911) DEER AT DUSK Oil on canvas, 17.75 x 27.5 inches/Signed lower right
Bedford Fine Art Gallery

Artist Otto Sommer was a German artist living in Munich before immigrating to the United States – destination, probably New York City, although the year is unknown. What is known that Sommer exhibited at the National Academy of Design from 1862 to 1866. The December 28, 1864 Philadelphia Press, in their Arts and Literature in New York, section stated that "a large canvas by Otto Sommer, representing a spirited deer scene, will be worthy of your attention, should it reach Philadelphia." Sommer exhibited with well-known artists Balling A. Chappel, Leutze, Nehleg, Culverhouse, Berger W. Hart, S.S. Gerry, Johann Hermann Carmeincke, Seavey and Stroeghel at Bunyon Hall, Union Square in September, 1867. That he visited Texas around this time is documented by a 1867 exhibition at the Chicago Opera House Art Gallery, where two of his, Westward Ho , "a stirring scene in Texas, and a small wood piece with deer." 1868 found him in Winona, Minnesota, located on the upper reaches of the Mississippi River, where he painted the river, its islands, bluffs and just a glimpse of city itself. Sommer was only there a short while; however, the painting was exhibited at the bookstore of McNie & Bros. Sommer was in Chicago, Illinois ion the late 1860s, but returned east after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. In 1874 he exhibited at "Mr. Schenk’s Gallery" in New York City (February 1874), along with H.C. Bispham, John Faulkner, Milton Leveridge, Walter Blackman, C.P. Ream, Redmond Fay, Benjamin Champney, William Hart and Ernest Baker. Sommer was listed in the London American Register (December 1874) as one of the Americans in Europe (Munich, Germany). In 1875 he exhibited at the Haseltine Galleries in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Landscapes with cows in a mountain scene were a common theme, as were scenes of Lake George, NY, Conway, NH and the Hudson River. Sommer also painted some Civil War scenes, although they were not battle scenes or depictions of the misery of war, but activities that supported the war effort such as “Beef for the Troops” and “Union Drover”. His landscapes are reminiscent of the Hudson River School and he likely knew at least some of the Hudson River artists, maybe Church or Bierstadt – in fact he painted a series of paintings after Thomas Cole’s Voyage of Life – Old Age and Voyage of Life – Youth, although Sommer would have likely arrived in the United States after Cole’s death in 1848.

Call now to talk about your interest in this Otto Sommer painting: 724-459-0612Jerry Hawk, Bedford Fine Art Gallery


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Bedford Fine Art Gallery

Welcome to Bedford Fine Art Gallery. Located in historic Bedford, Pennsylvania, the gallery offers a wide variety of works from some of the greatest and most well-known 19th century artists, early 20th century artists, and contemporary realism artists. You can see all of our available 19th century artwork on our Gallery page. Our current inventory boasts a wide diversity of subject matter from landscape, marine, still life, genre, American historical/political, sporting art, and animal themes. Our gallery features both American and European 19th century painters such as John Henry Dolph, George Hetzel, William Bromley III, and Barton Stone Hays, to name a few. To see more of our 19th century artists, please visit our Artists page. Good art is timeless and only you know what "wows" you. You know it when you see it and we hope you make that connection with a stunning painting from Bedford Fine Art Gallery. Thank you.

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