Carl Ferdinand Wimar (German-American, 1828-1862). Oil on canvas, unsigned. Housed in a period Hudson River School frame with original gilding; 47 x 34.5 in. (sight).
Carl Wimar was born near Bonn, Germany, in 1828. In 1843, his family moved to Saint Louis. There, the young artist further improved his drawing skills and worked as a sign painter before becoming an apprentice to Léon Pomerade, a French-born painter. It is also in Saint Louis that Wimar first came in contact with Indians who visited the city to trade furs. Following the advice of his mentor, Pomerade, Wimar would later paint Indians almost exclusively, becoming one of the most highly regarded painters of the American West before the Civil War. In 1851, Wimar returned to Germany and settled in Dusseldorf to receive a formal education in painting, where he still painted scenes representing the American West and became known as the "Indian Painter." He returned to American in 1856 but died shortly afterwards, in 1862, of tuberculosis.
The work offered here was painted in Saint Louis circa 1850, prior to Wimar's stay in Germany. It exemplifies his early style, prior to his formal training, while he was being mentored by Pomerade. It was attributed to Wimar in 2007 by Angela L. Miller, co-author of the most complete Wimar biography and catalogue of works, Carl Wimar, Chronicler of the Missouri Frontier, based on its stylistic resemblance with other Wimars and on the compelling provenance of the painting.
Due to his short-lived career, and also to the fact that many paintings produced in Germany were lost, Wimar's surviving oeuvre is rather small, including approximately 60 oils on canvas and small number of sketchbooks and murals, most of which are housed in cultural institutions. Therefore, it is a rare occurrence when paintings by Wimar surface on the market.
Provenance:Ex Collection of Arthur Hoskins;Gifted to the Wednesday Club of Saint Louis, early 1950s;Ex Collection of George R. Brooks, one-time director of the Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Margo's Gallery in 1960.
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