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Elihu Vedder Paintings
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Elihu Vedder BiographyAmerican Symbolist artist
born 1836 - died 1923
Vedder was American-born Romantic painter
and illustrator whose reputation is based
primarily on oil paintings derived from
dreams and fantasies.
Vedder had his first
instruction in art in his native city, and
later studied with Tompkins H. Matteson in
Sherbourne, New York, and Francois Edouard
Picot in Paris. In 1856 Elihu Vedder went to
Italy, and subsequently he opened a studio
in New York. He was there elected an
associate of the National academy in 1863,
and an associate two years later.
Subsequently he removed to Rome, Italy,
where he still resides. Elihu Vedder
paintings, while naturalistic and vigorous
in treatment, are ideal in motive, and bear
witness to the fertility of imagination and
versatility of the artist. In many of Elihu Vedder
paintings aims, as one critic has said, "to give to the unreal and impossible an
air of plausibility and real existence."
|" A Scene on the Mediterranean" (1874); "Greek Actor’s Daughter," exhibited at Philadelphia in 1876; "Old Madonna," "Cumean Sibyl," now belonging to Wellesley college, Massachusetts, and "Young Marsyas," the three exhibited at the Paris exposition of 1878 ; "A Questioner of the Sphinx" ; "Sleeping Girl" ; "A Venetian Model" ; "A Pastoral," exhibited in Boston in 1878 ; "Nausicaa and her Companions" ; "Waves off Pier Head" (1882); and "Le Mistral" (1884). Ideal American contemporary Elihu Vedder oil paintings have given rise to much criticism and discussion as to their conception and’ intent. Vedder has also executed an "accompaniment of drawings" for Edward Fitzgerald’s translation of the "Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" (Boston, 1884).|
|He spent his youth in Schenectady, New York, studied art in New York City and Paris and then spent four years in Florence, Italy. Penniless, Elihu Vedder returned to New York at the start of the Civil War and turned to commercial art including sketches for "Vanity Fair" and diagrams for instructing people in the use of dumbbells.|
At the end of
the war, Elihu Vedder left the United States and spent
the remaining fifty-eight years of his life
in Europe, primarily Rome and the Island of
In 1884, he published his major painting, over 50 illustrations for "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. " Elihu Vedder created designs for the entire book and included intriguing drawings and hand-drawn letters. Based on the poetry of a Persian mathematician and originally written about 1120 A.D., the painting had been translated in the 19th century by an Englishman, Edward FitzGerald, and had become treasured for its spiritual and poetic writing by aesthetes including Vedder.
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