Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Rothermel, Peter Frederick

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ROTHERMEL, Peter Frederick, artist, b. in Nescopack, Pa.. 18 July, 1817; d. in Grassmere, Pa., 15 Aug., 1895. He received little education, and, after studying land-surveying, took up the study of art at the age of twenty-two. He was instructed in drawing by John R. Smith, and subsequently became a pupil of Bass Otis in Philadelphia. During 1856-'9 he was in Europe, residing for about two years in Rome, and visiting also the principal cities in England, France, Germany, Belgium, and Italy. Since his return he had lived in Philadelphia, where he was elected a member of the Pennsylvania academy, of which institution he had been director from 1847 to 1855. He possessed much facility of composition, and had produced a large number of works, including “De Soto discovering the Mississippi” (1844); “Embarkation of Columbus,” in the Pennsylvania academy; “Christian Martyrs in the Colisseum”; a series of paintings illustrative of William H. Prescott's “History of the Conquest of Mexico” (about 1850); “The Virtuoso” (1855); “Vandyke and Rubens”; “King Lear” (1856); “Patrick Henry before the Virginia House of Burgesses”; “St. Agnes” (1858); “Paul at Ephesus”; “Paul before Agrippa”; “St. Paul preaching on Mars Hill to the Athenians”; “Trial of Sir Henry Vane”; “Battle of Gettysburg” (finished in 1871), in Memorial Hall, Fairmount park, Philadelphia; “The Landsknecht” (1876); and “Bacchantes” (1884). Very many of his paintings have been engraved.