Theodore Kaufmann

(18 December 1814 - 1896)

Artist who worked mostly in the United States. He was born in Uelzen, Germany. He served for several years as a mercantile apprentice. He studied painting in Düsseldorf with Peter von Cornelius, in Munich with Wilhelm von Kaulbach, and also in Hamburg and Dresden. He took part in the revolution at Dresden in 1848, and emigrated to the United States in 1850. He settled in New York City, where he painted portraits and taught. One of his students was editorial artist Thomas Nast. He was not successful as a school director or painter in New York, and became an itinerant photographer and portrait painter.

During the American Civil War, he is reported to have fought in the Union Army and to have been a correspondent-artist. St. Louis, Missouri, city directories list him as an artist in 1864 and 1865. After the Civil War, he resided in Boston and Washington, D.C. Louis Prang made color lithographs of some of Kaufmann's more popular pieces. Kaufmann is noted for his portraits and military and historical paintings. He died in New York City.

Works Include:
“Gen. Sherman near the Watchfire”
“On to Liberty”
“A Pacific Railway Train attacked by Indians”
“Slaves seeking Shelter under the Flag of the Union”
“Admiral Farragut entering Harbor through Torpedoes”
“Farragut in the Rigging”
“Westward the Star of Empire” (c. 1880)



KAUFMAN, Theodore, artist, born in Nelsen, Hanover, 18 December 1814. He served for several years as a mercantile apprentice, and studied painting in Hamburg and Munich. He took part in the revolution at Dresden in 1848, came to this country in 1855, and fought in the National army during the civil war. Subsequently he resided in Boston. His works include "Gen. Sherman near the Watchfire," "On to Liberty," "A Pacific Railway Train attacked by Indians," "Slaves Seeking' Shelter under the Flag of the Union," "Admiral Farragut entering Harbor through Torpedoes," and "Farragut in the Rigging."

Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography,1887



View painter's work: Theodor Kaufmann (1814-1896)

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