Friday, July 10, 2015

John Lewis Krimmel

Barroom Dancing
Dance in a country tavern, showing people drinking and dancing while an African American man plays fiddle
20.8 × 27.9 cm
Library of Congress, USA
for more paintings of this artist
art group of Imaginary-Museum

John Lewis Krimmel (1786-1821), born in the small town in Germany, sometimes called "the American Hogarth" was America's first painter of genre scenes. He emigrated to Philadelphia in the US in 1809 and soon became a member of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

Initially influenced by painters in Scotland and England, he soon turned to direct observation of life for his genre scenes.  Among his still frequently reproduced paintings are Fourth of July, Center Square (1811/12) and Election Day (1815), both filled with lively characterizations of scores of crowd members. He returned to Germany from 1817 to 1818.  Back in Philadelphia in 1819. Early 1821 he was elected president of the Association of American Artists, but in the same year he accidentally drowned in a swimming accident in Pennsylvania and died at the age of 35.