Born in Lowell, MA on Oct. 20, 1838. After his education at the Andover Academy, Neal arrived in San Francisco in 1857 via New Orleans and the Isthmus of Panama. Without the benefit of art training, he quickly established himself as one of the city's most sought after portraitists. Mark Hopkins, D. O. Mills, and Adolph Sutro were three of his sitters.
A wealthy patron financed a trip to Munich in 1861 for formal art training. Entering the Royal Academy, he wed the daughter of one of his teachers and made Munich his home for the rest of his life. During 1869-76 he worked in the atelier of Karl von Piloty. His historical genre won medals while at the school and soon made him internationally famous
Source: Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"Keith, Old Master of California
(Brother Cornelius); Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs, et Graveurs
(Bénézit, E); Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers
(Fielding, Mantle); Who's Who in America
; History & Ideals of American Art
(Neuhaus); New York Historical Society's Dictionary of Artists in America
(Groce, George C. and David H. Wallace); California on Stone
(Peters); Artists of the American West
(Samuels); American Art Annual
1912-15; Art News, 6-12-1915 (obituary).Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here
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