George Hetzel (George Hetzel)

George Hetzel

Painter.  Born in Hangviller, a small village in the province of Alsace, France, in 1826. Hetzels father decided that America offered unparalleled opportunities for a better life, however, and when George was two years of age, his family left Hangviller for the New World. George attended Allegheny City school and was apprenticed to a local sign- and house-painter. After four years of training, he earned an artisan’s apprenticeship, painting the interior murals of riverboat public rooms and local Pittsburgh saloons. His father realized that his son possessed an outstanding artistic talent. He decided George should further his studies at the Dusseldorf Art Academy in Germany, which was one of the foremost art schools in Europe at that time. George departed Pittsburgh in late 1847, and for the next two years devoted himself to the study of portraiture, landscape and still-life painting. He received instruction in anatomy and the fundamentals of draftsmanship, sketched from plaster casts and, later, live models. George was sent to the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf between 1847–49 and studied Da Vinci’s use of light and dark shadows to heighten depth and drama, which became a signature stroke in his later works. George exhibited at the National Academy in New York between 1865-1882 and at the Pennsylvania Academy until 1891. He was included in the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia and shown in the first Carnegie International in 1896. He also exhibited at the World’s Columbian Exposition, 1892-1893. The J. J. Gillespie Gallery sold his works and he kept an independent studio. His career was established before the Scalp Level works, but they are currently foremost in his legacy. (bio by: Shock)  Family links:  Spouse:  Marie Louise Siegrist Hetzel (1836 – 1923)*  Children:  James Hetzel (1861 – 1901)*  Charles Barr Hetzel (1863 – 1880)*  Ella Florence Hetzel (1865 – 1880)*  Lila B Hetzel (1873 – 1967)* *Calculated relationship


  • January, 17, 1826


  • July, 07, 1899


  • Homewood Cemetery
  • Pennsylvania
  • USA

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