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 Ernest Finkernagel  (mid 19th century)

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Lived/Active: New York / Germany      Known for: landscape painting, illustration

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Ernest Von Finkernagel is primarily known as Ernest Finkernagel

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from Auction House Records.
Ciociari on the Coast Before Capri
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Ernest Finkernagel – active 1837 to 1851

Ernest Finkernagel was a German painter and illustrator active in the mid-nineteenth century. Various historical documents and reference books indicate that the artist grew up in Darmstadt, Germany.  From 1838 to 1839, Finkernagel exhibited in Rome and, the following year, in Berlin at the Akademie Ausstellung.  The artist produced many vibrant scenes of the Italian coastal cities of Capri, Naples, and Sorrento in the early 1840’s.

In his day, Finkernagel was a well-known and admired painter in Europe.  He was a friend and colleague of fellow artists Jakob Hyrtl (Austria, 1799-1868), Josef Weidner (Austria, 1801-1871), Josef Schwemminger (Austria, 1804-1895), and Theodor Alconiere (Hungary/Austria, 1798-1865).  There are numerous citations for Ernest Finkernagel in the principal art reference books of his time. These contemporaneous publications describe him as an accomplished marine and landscape artist.

Finkernagel emigrated to New York City sometime in the late 1840’s. Known Manhattan addresses for the artist are 97 Canal Street and 397 Broadway.  While living in the New York, Finkernagel exhibited at the prestigious National Academy of Design. He painted local points of interest such as the Rural Cove House which is the site of the Beekman Mansion at 60th Street & the East River (1851).  A watercolor by the artist hangs in Gracie Mansion, historic home to the mayor of New York.  An etching by Finkernagel is also in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Little is known about the life of the artist or his work subsequent to the 1850s.

Published examples of Finkernagel’s paintings and etchings include: View of Rome from the Tiber; Mountainous Landscape with a Knight and his Squire approaching a Castle; Ciociari on the Coast before Capri; Veduta di Romadal Gianicolo; Aquatint of a Seascape; Ships in the Port of Naples; View From Sorrento; View of the Church in Friedberg; Shipwreck (1843); Castle Saint Elmo Near Naples (1843); Etching of a Seated Monk at Torre Del Greco with Mount Vesuvius in the Distance (1844); View From Marina di Meta on the Coast of Sorrento (1846); Rural Cove House, New York City (Beekman Mansion, 1851); Morning at Ischia (1851 – NAD Exhibition); Shipwreck (1851 – NAD Exhibition); Coast Scene – a Storm Coming Up (1851 – NAD Exhibition); and Eagle in a Wooded Glen (1858).

The following is an abbreviated list of American reference sources for the artist: Trow’s New York City Directory by John F. Trow, 1856; NAD Exhibition Record: 1826 – 1860 by Mary Bartlett Cowdrey, 1943; The Beekmans of New York in Politics and Commerce, 1647-1877 by Philip L. White, New York Historical Society under a grant from the Beekman Family Association, 1956; Quarterly: Volumes 46-47 by the NY Historical Society, 1962; New York City's Gracie Mansion: a history of the mayor's house by Mary Black, Joan R. Olshansky, Gracie Mansion Conservancy, 1984; Dictionary of Artists in America: 1564-1860 by George Croce, David H. Wallace, The New York Historical Society, 1957; and Germans to America: Lists of Passengers Arriving at U.S. Ports Series II, Volumes 3 and 4 by P. William Filby, Ira A Glazier, 2001.

List of European reference sources for the artist (includes obscure 19th century German newspapers and periodicals):
(a)    Kunstwerke, öffentlich ausgestellt im Gebäude der Österreichisch (-Kaiserlichen Akademie der Bildenden Ku¨nste bei St. Anna : im Jahre), Wien, 1837
(b)    Allgemeine Zeitung München by Johann Friedrich von Cotta, 1839
(c)    Komische briefe des Hans-Jörgels von Gumpoldskirchen an Seinen Schwager Feselau uber Wien und seine Tagsbegebenheiten, 1841
(d)    Münchener politische Zeitung: mit allerhöchstem Privilegium, 1841
(e)    Adrekbuch von München und der Vorstadt Au (fragment missing) by M. Siebert, 1842
(f)    Bericht über den Bestand und das Wirken des unter dem Allerhöchsten Protektorate Seiner Koniglichen Hoheit des Prinz-Regenten Luitpold von Bayern stehenden Kunstvereines Munchen : wahrend des Jahres by Kunstverein (München), 1843
(g)    Munchener Tagblatt, 1843
(h)    Histoire de l'art moderne en Allemagne by Le Compte Athanase Raczinski, 1843
(i)    Dictionnaire historique des peintres de toutes les écoles, depuis les temps les plus recule´s jusqu'a` nos jours by Adolphe Siret, 1848 & 1866
(j)    R. Weigel's Kunstcatalog 22/28 abt. by Rudolph Weigel, 1859
(k)    Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart: Volume 11 by Ulrich Thieme, Hans Vollmer, Felix Becker, 1915 [German encyclopaedia of artist biographies in 37 volumes]
(l)    Österreichische Kunsttopographie, Volume 24 by A. Schroll, Zentral-Kommission für Denkmalpflege in Wien, Institut für Österreichische Kunstforschung (Austria), 1932
(m)    World Collectors Annuary: Vol. 1-26,  Published by Delft, 1946
(n)    Eisenstadt: 300 Jahre Freistadt, by Burgenlandisches Landesmuseum.; Burgenlandisches Landesarchiv.; Volksbildungswerk fur das Burgenland (Austria), Publisher Wien, K. Kuhne, 1948
(o)    Burgenland: landeskunde, by Burgenland Landesregierung, Publisher: Wien Osterr. Bundesverl. fur Unterricht, Wiss. u. Kunst 1951
(p)    Museen in Hessen: Ein Handbuch der öffentlich zugänglichen Museen und Sammlungen im Lande Hessen by Karl Dielmann, 1970
(q)    Raimund Almanach by Raimund Gesellschaft, Publisher: Wien, Bergland, 1971
(r)    Das Deutschtum in Rom seit dem Ausgang des Mittelalters, Volume 2 by Friedrich Noack, 1974
(s)    Die Sammlung des Theatermalers Michael Mayr 1796-1870: Architektur- und Theaterblätter: Sonderausstellung, 15. Mai bis 8. Juli 1984, Niederösterreichisches Landesmuseum by Michael Mayr; Peter Weninger; 1984, Wien
(t)    Die Revolution von 1848/49 im österreichisch-ungarischen Grenzraum: Symposion im Rahmen der "Schlaininger Gespräche" vom 22.-27. September 1992 auf Burg Schlaining by Rudolph Kropf, Burgenländisches Landesmuseum, 1996
(u)    Paesaggisti stranieri in Campania nell'Ottocento by Massimo Ricciardi, 2002
(v)    Filippi Fitzner: Saur allgemeines Ku¨nstlerlexikon : die bildenden Ku¨nstler aller Zeiten und Vo¨lker by Gunter Meisner, 2004
(w)    Biedermeier - Revolution - Neoabsolutismus: die Tagebücher (1822-1869) by M. Mayr & G. Schlag, Amt der Burgenländischen Landesregierung, 2006

Miscellaneous Notes: (a) The earliest published art reference for the painter is 1837.  Cities where he exhibited include Rome (1838 & 1839), Berlin (1840), Munich (1846), and New York (1851). (b) Political references to the artist appear in various newspapers and periodicals of the time. (c) The artist was also known as Ernst von Finkernagel.  Certain databases list the painter with an incorrect first name of Emile.

Compiled and submitted by Tina Kasper of Pelham, New York (Copyright 2012).


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