William Louis Sonntag (1822-1900)


William Sonntag began his artistic career in 1842 in Cincinnati. He worked there until 1853 when he first visited Europe, staying mainly in Florence. He returned to the United States for a brief two years, establishing himself as an artist in New York City before recommencing study in Florence.

In 1861 the National Academy of Design elected him a member, and Sonntag exhibited there throughout his career. He spent his summers sketching in the mountains of New England and West Virginia or abroad in Florence. Sonntag is best known today for his romantic Italian and American landscapes in the Hudson River School tradition, but, in fact, he never painted the Hudson River at all.

His only son, William Sonntag, Jr., became an artist and illustrator as well, but he died before he reached the age of thirty. Sonntag outlived his son by a year.

Sonntag’s works have been preserved at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Peabody Institute.

New Hampshire Scenery