Ferdinand Richardt

Joachim Richardt was a highly prolific artist who worked both in Denmark and in the United States, where he traveled in the 1850s and later settled permanently in 1873. Born in Brede, outside Copenhagen, he trained at the Royal Danish Academy of Art and was known in his native country for architectural and landscape views of important castles and ancient manor houses. The artist’s first four-year American sojourn from 1855 to 1859 resulted in thirty-two large paintings of Niagara Falls, for which he is best known in America. In January of 1859, following extensive sketching trips by canal boat, steamer, and rail throughout the eastern half of North America, Richardt mounted his Gallery of Paintings of American Scenery at New York’s National Academy of Design. Returning to Copenhagen, Richardt exhibited his American collection in 1860, later traveling in Italy and England. Finally, in 1873, the artist immigrated to the United States, stopping at Niagara Falls and settling in California. There he was drawn to coastal scenery, to redwood forests and mountains, including Yosemite Valley, and to city views in San Francisco and Oakland. During the last twenty years of his life he exhibited and sold works to the public and taught drawing and painting. Joachim Richardt died in 1895 at his home in Oakland.