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Elihu Vedder | Symbolist painter



Elihu Vedder 1836-1923 | American symbolist painter and illustrator


Elihu Vedder (February 26, 1836 - January 29, 1923) was an American symbolist painter, book illustrator and poet, born in New York City. He is best known for his fifty-five illustrations for Edward FitzGerald's translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (deluxe edition, published by Houghton Mifflin).
Elihu Vedder was born February 26, 1836 in New York City, the son of Dr. Elihu Vedder Sr. and Elizabeth Vedder. His parents were cousins. His father, a dentist, decided to try his luck in Cuba, and this had a profound impact on Elihu Jr.'s childhood.

Elihu Vedder 1836-1923 | American symbolist painter and illustrator

Elihu Vedder 1836-1923 | American symbolist painter and illustrator











The remainder of his childhood was spent between his maternal grandfather Alexander Vedder's house in Schenectady and a boarding school. His mother supported his goals to be an artist while his father reluctantly assented, convinced that his son should try a different occupation. His brother, Dr. Alexander Madison Vedder, was a Navy surgeon who witnessed the transformation of Japan into a modern culture while he was stationed there.
Vedder trained in New York City with Tompkins H. Matteson, then in Paris with François-Édouard Picot. Finally, he completed his studies in Italy - where he was strongly influenced not only by Italian Renaissance work but also by the modern Macchiaioli painters and the living Italian landscape. He first visited Italy from 1858 until 1860, becoming deeply emotionally attached to fellow painter Giovanni Costa. Their idyllic trips through the Italian countryside were cut short because Vedder's father cut off his financial allowance.
Vedder returned to the USA, penniless, during the American Civil War, and made a small living by undertaking commercial illustrations. He was involved in the bohemian 'Pfaff's' coffee house group, and painted some of his most memorable paintings notable for their visionary nature, romantic imagery and often Oriental influences. Paintings of this time include 'The Roc's Egg', 'The Fisherman and the Genii' and one of his most famous works, 'Lair of the Sea Serpent.' In the USA he sought out and became friends with Walt Whitman, Herman Melville and William Morris Hunt. Vedder became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1865.
At the end of the Civil War, he left America to live in Italy. He married Caroline Rosekrans on July 13, 1869 in Glen Falls, New York. Elihu Vedder and his wife had four children, only two of whom survived. His daughter Anita Herriman Vedder played a vital role in handling the business of her father, who was notorious for his general aloofness towards details. Elihu's son Enoch Rosekrans Vedder was a promising architect who married jewelry designer Angela Reston. Enoch died while visiting his parents in Italy on April 2, 1916. Elihu had a home in Rome and - after the financial success of his 1884 Rubaiyat work - on the Isle of Capri, then a haven for male aesthetes.
Vedder visited England many times, and was influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites, and was a friend of Simeon Solomon. He was also influenced by the work of English and Irish mystics such as William Blake and William Butler Yeats. In 1890 Vedder helped establish the In Arte Libertas group in Italy.
Tiffany commissioned him to design glassware, mosaics and statuettes for the company. He decorated the hallway of the Reading Room of the Washington Library of Congress, and his mural paintings can still be seen there.
Vedder occasionally returned to the United States, but lived only in Italy from 1906 until his death on January 29, 1923. He is buried in the Protestant Cemetery, Rome. There are no known living descendants of Elihu Vedder as both surviving children died without issue. 
Exhibitions
In 2008, the Smithsonian American Art Museum organized an exhibition of Vedder's Rubaiyat illustrations that toured several museums, including the Phoenix Art Museum. | Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Vedder, Elihu". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
































Elihu Vedder 1836-1923 | American symbolist painter and illustrator


















Elihu Vedder (New York, 26 febbraio 1836 - Roma, 29 gennaio 1923) è stato un pittore, poeta e illustratore di libri statunitense appartenente al movimento simbolista. Era figlio del Dr. Elihu Vedder Sr. e di Elizabeth Vedder, cugini fra loro.
È noto soprattutto per le 55 illustrazioni della traduzione di Edward FitzGerald dell'opera Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (edizione deluxe, pubblicata da Houghton Mifflin).
Il padre, dentista, decise di trasferirsi a Cuba, il che ebbe un forte impatto sul figlio. Egli visse il resto della sua infanzia fra la casa del nonno materno Alessandro a Schenectady ed un collegio. La madre appoggiò i suoi desideri di diventare un artista mentre il padre accettò con riluttanza, convinto che il figlio avrebbe dovuto cercare altre occupazioni. Il fratello, Alexander Madison Vedder, era un medico militare della marina che fu testimone della trasformazione del Giappone in un paese moderno mentre si trovava di stanza colà.
Vedder fece il suo tirocinio artistico a New York City con Tompkins H. Matteson e poi a Parigi con François-Édouard Picot. Infine completò i suoi studi in Italia, ove rimase fortemente influenzato non solo dalle opere del Rinascimento italiano, ma anche dagli allora moderni pittori chiamati Macchiaioli e dal vivace panorama italiano.
Egli visitò l'Italia dal 1858 al 1860, molto vicino al collega pittore Giovanni Costa. Il loro viaggio idilliaco attraverso la campagna italiana fu abbreviato bruscamente poiché il padre gli tolse l'appoggio finanziario.
Durante la Guerra di secessione americana Vedder rientrò negli Stati Uniti senza un quattrino e condusse una vita modesta disegnando illustrazioni commerciali. Fu coinvolto nel Pfaff's' coffee house group, un gruppo di artisti bohemien, dipingendo alcune dei suoi quadri più memorabili, notevoli per la loro immagine romantica e visionaria, spesso influenzata da immagini orientali. I dipinti di quel periodo comprendono The Roc's Egg, The Fisherman and the Genii ed una delle sue opere più famose, Lair of the Sea Serpent. Negli Stati Uniti scoprì Walt Whitman, Herman Melville e William Morris Hunt, divenendo loro amico. Nel 1865 divenne membro dell'American Academy of Arts and Letters. Nel 1866 si recò a Parigi con il collega Charles Caryl Coleman. per poi lasciare gli Stati Uniti e andare a vivere in Italia.
Stabilì inizialmente la sua residenza in Roma, ma dopo il successo finanziario della sua opera Rubaiyat del 1884, si stabilì sull'isola di Capri, ove, tra il 1901-1903 progettò e fece costruire la Villa Quattro Venti.
Vedder visitò più volte l'Inghilterra, subì l'influenza della Confraternita dei Preraffaelliti e fu influenzato anche dalle opere di mistici inglesi ed irlandesi quali William Blake e William Butler Yeats. Nel 1890 contribuì a portare in Italia il gruppo In Arte Libertas.
Tiffany gli commissionò disegni per vetri, mosaici e statuette. Egli decorò il corridoi della sala di lettura della Biblioteca del Congresso ed i suoi dipinti murali possono essere ammirati ancor oggi.
Vedder tornava di tanto in tanto negli Stati Uniti, ma visse in Italia, nella Villa Quattro Venti a Capri fino alla morte, avvenuta il 29 gennaio 1923. La sua salma riposa nel cimitero acattolico di Roma.

Elihu Vedder 1836-1923 | American symbolist painter and illustrator