PETER F. ROTHERMEL, one of America's greatest and best known historical painters, was born in Luzerne county,
Pennsylvania, July 8, 1817, and was of German. ancestry. He received his earlier educatioft in his native county,
and in Philadelphia learned the profession of land surveying. But a strong bias toward art drew him away and he
soon opened a studio where he did portrait painting. This soon gave place to historical painting, he having discovered
the bent of his genius in that direction. Besides the two pictures in the Capitol at Washington - "De Soto
Discovering the Mississippi" and "Patrick Henry Before the Virginia House of Burgesses" - Rothermel
painted many others, chief among which are: "Columbus Before Queen Isabella," "Martyrs of the Colosseum,"
"Cromwell Breaking Up Service in an English Church," and the famous picture of the Battle of Gettysburg."
The last named was painted for the state of Pennsylvania, for which Rothermel received the sum of $25,000, and
which it took him four years to plan and to paint. It represents the portion of that historic field held by the
First corps, an exclusively Pennsylvania body of men, and was selected by Rotherrnel for that reason. For many
years most of his time was spent in Italy, only returning for short periods. He died at Philadelphia, August 16,
A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.
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