Johannes Adam Simon Oertel

Furth, Germany 1823-died Vienna, VA 1909
Also known as
  • Johannes Adam Oertel
  • Johannes Oertel
  • Johannes A. Oertel
Furth, Germany
Vienna, Virginia, United States
Active in
  • Washington, District of Columbia, United States

Born November 3, 1823, in Fürth, Bavaria, Germany. Studied engraving in Munich with J. M. Enzing-Müller, and also studied the works of Peter Cornelius, Rudolf Schwanthaler, and Friedrich Kaulbach. Immigrated to Newark, N.J., 1848. Engraved banknotes. Taught at a school for girls. Married Julia Adelaide Torrey, 1851. In New York, 1855. In Washington, D.C., 1857–58, at the invitation of Captain Montgomery C. Meigs, to work on decorations for the House Chamber at the Capitol. In New York, 1858–60. In Westerly, R.I., 1861–67. Served briefly with the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War, 1862. Painted Rock of Ages, 1867. Returned to New York, 1868. In Lenoir, N.C., 1869–76. Ordained an Episcopalian priest, 1871. In New Jersey, New York, Lenoir, N.C., and Florida, 1876–82. In Washington, D.C., and Vienna, Va., 1883–86. Elected assistant rector of the Church of the Incarnation, Washington, 1885 (now the Mt. Zion Pentacostal Church). Had a studio in the Corcoran Building. In Sewanee, Tenn., and St. Louis, 1886–91. Lived in Washington, and also in nearby Bel Air, Md., and Vienna, Va., 1891–1909. Painted a series of four large pictures on Christian doctrine, 1895–1901. Died December 9, 1909, in Vienna, Va.

Andrew J. Cosentino and Henry H. Glassie The Capital Image: Painters in Washington, 1800–1915 (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press for the National Museum of American Art, 1983)