Peter Frederick Rothermel’s parents were farmers and innkeepers, and he showed talent for painting at an early age when he created a sign for his father’s hotel. He moved to Philadelphia at age twenty to work as a sign painter, but decided to study painting after he saw his first art exhibition. Rothermel started out as a portraitist, but in 1856 he traveled to Paris, where he exhibited historical works that caught the eye of Russian aristocrats. Once back in the United States, Rothermel became one of Philadelphia’s preeminent artists, serving as a director and instructor at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
Luce Artist Biography