HOW TO DRAW: American Impressionist Edward Henry Potthast

Saturday, March 8, 2008

American Impressionist Edward Henry Potthast

American impressionist Edward Henry Potthast was born on June 10th, 1857 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He first showed his artistic side when he was very young and would mix his watercolors to come up with some of the most beautiful, vibrant colors. At an early age his family sent him off to design school. It was there that he met Thomas Satterwhite Noble, a portrait painter who helped Potthast develop his passion for oil painting.

When Edward turned 16 he began an apprenticeship at a lithographic firm. Lithography was the perfect job to further nurture his passion for mixing paints and inks and he continued lithography until he was 39.

In his late twenties, Edward went off to Munich to study painting. Like many artist before him, it was his time in Europe that he was able to develop his own style and establish a name for himself. When he returned to the United States in 1895, he settled down in New York and opened a studio.

By this time, Edward Potthast had become a full-time artist and no longer needed the lithography job to survive. He was living comfortably in his New York studio and was able to paint all day, everyday. Because he lived in the city, many of his subjects were picnics in Central Park and sunny beach days on Long Island.

He especially enjoyed painting children being children, for he had never married or had children of his own. He would depict them swimming in the summer surf on a New England beach or rolling down a grassy hill. Paintings like this were what brought the impressionist era to life.

When Edward Potthast died on March 9th, 1927 he had an established career as an artist and had paintings hanging in museums all over the United States.

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