Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Haidt, John Valentine

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HAIDT, John Valentine, artist and evangelist, b. in Dantzic, Germany, 4 Oct., 1700; d. in Bethlehem, Pa., 18 Jan., 1780. He was educated at Berlin, where his father was court-jeweller. The son studied painting at Venice, Rome, Paris, and London. When he was forty years of age he united with the Moravian church and devoted himself to painting portraits of its clergymen and other pictures, the majority of which represented scriptural incidents. In 1754 he emigrated to America, was ordained a deacon of the church, and began to preach through the middle colonies as an evangelist, at the same time continuing to paint. A gallery of his portraits and several of his other pictures are still preserved at Bethlehem, Pa. Among the latter the most remarkable is a reduced copy of a large painting which he produced in Germany, representing the first converts of the various nations to which the Moravians brought the gospel, coming to the throne of Christ's glory. Twelve of Haidt's paintings, setting forth incidents in the life of Jesus, which formerly adorned the walls of the first church-edifice at Bethlehem, were many years ago sold to a dealer, who realized enormous profits from them.