The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Rothermel, Peter Frederick

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ROTHERMEL, rŏth'ėr-mĕl, Peter Frederick, American painter: b. Luzerne County, Pa., 18 July 1817; d. near Pottstown, Pa., 15 Aug. 1895. He was educated as a land surveyor, but at 22 studied painting, and about 1840 opened a studio as a portrait painter at Philadelphia, and eventually turned his attention to historical subjects. Among his earlier works are ‘Christabel’ and ‘Katherine and Petruchio.’ He has also painted many American subjects, among them ‘De Soto Discovering the Mississippi,’ ‘Columbus Before Isabella the Catholic,’ the ‘Noche Triste’ from Prescott's ‘Conquest of Mexico’; ‘Patrick Henry Before the Virginia House of Burgesses’; and ‘The Battle of Gettysburg.’ His pictures reveal a fine sense of color and a power of dramatic composition which are not common; but he has a tendency to exaggeration and his overtrained action is very often less genuinely effective than sensational.