Artist Search
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z 

 William Louis Sonntag Sr.  (1822 - 1900)

About: William Louis Sonntag Sr.


Examples of his work


Quick facts

Exhibits - current  




Book references

Magazine references pre-2007


Discussion board

Signature Examples*

Buy and Sell: William Louis Sonntag Sr.

For sale ads

Auction results*


Wanted ads

Auctions upcoming for him*  


Auction sales graphs*


What's my art worth?

Magazine ads pre-1998*


Market Alert - Free

Lived/Active: Ohio/New York      Known for: wilderness landscape painting, often allegorical

Login for full access
View AskART Services

*may require subscription

Available for William Louis Sonntag Sr.:

Quick facts (Styles, locations, mediums, teachers, subjects, geography, etc.) (William Sonntag Sr.)


Biographical information (William Sonntag Sr.)


Book references (William Sonntag Sr.)


Magazine references (William Sonntag Sr.)


Museum references (William Sonntag Sr.)


Artwork for sale (William Sonntag Sr.)


Artwork Wanted (William Sonntag Sr.)


Dealers (William Sonntag Sr.)


Auction records - upcoming / past (William Sonntag Sr.)

new entry!

Auction high record price (William Sonntag Sr.)


Signature Examples* (William Sonntag Sr.)


Analysis of auction sales (William Sonntag Sr.)


Discussion board entries (William Sonntag Sr.)


Image examples of works (William Sonntag Sr.)


Magazine ads pre-1998 (William Sonntag Sr.)


Please send me Alert Updates for William Louis Sonntag Sr. (free)
What is an alert list?

Ad Code: 2
William Louis Sonntag
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A native of East Liberty, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh, William Sonntag was a landscape painter associated with the Hudson River School.  He is best remembered for his romantic depictions of the American wilderness and "idealized visions of classical Italian ruins" that "reflect the influence of the eighteenth-century neoclassical tradition of English literature and painting" (Zellman, 195).

He pursued his art career despite parental objections, and in the 1840s moved to Cincinnati where it is thought he studied at the Cincinnati Academy of Fine Arts under Godfrey Frankenstein.  From the early 1840s to the mid 1850s, he had a studio in Cincinnati and made numerous painting trips in the Ohio River Valley and into the mountains of West Virginia and Kentucky.  His style of grandeur, sweeping vistas, and dramatic renderings was much influenced by Thomas Cole.

In Cincinnati, his store-front gallery exhibition got the attention of a Baltimore and Ohio Railroad official who commissioned Sonntag to paint a series of landscapes along the B & O railroad route.  The artist combined his railroad painting trip with his honeymoon.

Sonntag's work gained popularity because of their positive reception in the Western Art Union shows.  In 1853, he first traveled to Europe, and returned in 1855 for a year's study in Florence, Italy.  Upon his return, he settled in New York City.

The latter part of his career was in New York from which he and his wife traveled frequently to New England and Italy.  He created panoramas with John C. Wolfe depicting Milton's Paradise Lost  and Paradise Regained, and he also traveled with Arthur Tait painting Catskill landscapes.

In 1861, he became an associate member of the National Academy of Design and exhibited his work regularly there for the next 40 years.

He died in New York City in 1900.

Sources include:
David Michael Zellman, 300 Years of American Art
Peter Falk, Who Was Who in American Art

Biography from Pierce Galleries, Inc.:
Sonntag William Louis Sonntag (American, 1822-1900)

William Sonntag was one of the central figures of the Hudson River School. Primarily self-taught, his early landscapes were executed during painting excursions from Cincinnati to the Ohio River Valley and in Kentucky and West Virginia (1856 and 1859).

Born in East Liberty, Pennsylvania March 2, 1822, it is believed Sonntag studied for a short period with G. Frankenstein at the Cincinnati Academy of Fine Arts in the early 1840s. By the 1860s, he was famous for his views of sky, earth and water and he painted in New England and upper state New York.

Sonntag collaborated with John C. Wolfe on a large panorama of Milton’s Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained before he traveled to Italy and lived in Florence from 1855-1856. After his return from Europe in 1857, he settled in New York City, exhibited extensively and became known for his romantic American and Italian landscapes. In 1869 his canvas The Blue Ridge from Near Luray was engraved by R. Hinshelwood and published in Ladies Repository. By the mid 1860s he was painting Mt. Adams, the Alleghenies, Shenandoah, Behtlehem (NH) and the Adirondacks, and at the end of his life he painted throughout the White Mountains

Sonntag was an Associate (1860) and Academician (1861) at the National Academy of Design and a member American Water Color Society, the Artists Fund Society and the American Art Union. His work is represented in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Corcoran Gallery of Art; Peabody Institute; Berkshire Museum; Brooklyn Museum; Chrysler Museum; the Fogg Museum; Harvard University; Vassar College Art Gallery; Cincinnati Art Museum and more.

He died in New York City in 1900 one of America’s most revered landscape painters.

Biography from Charleston Renaissance Gallery:
William Louis Sonntag was born near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1822. In the 1840s Sonntag moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, to study art, and he was associated with the Cincinnati Academy of Fine Art. His idealized paintings of American wilderness and visionary paintings of imagined European ruins were commercially successful and he traveled twice to Europe in the 1850s to improve his skills.

Sonntag settled in New York City and joined the National Academy of Design, where he exhibited his works for forty years. His mature works identify him with the Hudson River school of landscape painters. A romantic and a naturalistic painter of his surroundings, Sonntag also created idealized paintings of Roman ruins, recalling his European trips of earlier years.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at

William Sonntag Sr. is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Hudson River School Painters

Explore Other Interesting Artists:
Albert Bierstadt
Alfred Thompson Bricher
Jasper Francis Cropsey
John Frederick Kensett
Emile Gruppe
David Johnson
George Inness
Sanford Robinson Gifford
Jane Peterson
Worthington Whittredge
Hermann Herzog
Martin Johnson Heade
Thomas Hill
William Hart
Guy Carleton Wiggins
Edmund Darch Lewis
Anthony Thieme
William Merritt Chase
Samuel Colman
John Joseph Enneking
Walter Launt Palmer
Milton Avery
Robert Henri
John Williamson
Thomas Cole
Childe Hassam
Jervis McEntee
Frederic Edwin Church
Bruce Crane
George Gardner Symons
Thomas Moran
William Bradford
Winslow Homer
James McDougal Hart
Theodore Robinson
Alexander Helwig Wyant
Abbott Fuller Graves
Samuel Lancaster Gerry
Homer Dodge Martin
Hayley Lever
Benjamin Champney
John William Casilear
Norman Rockwell
William Glackens
George Loftus Noyes
John Singer Sargent
Emil Carlsen
Russell Smith
Martha Walter
Marsden Hartley

See Artists Appearing in the Same Auctions:
Alfred Thompson Bricher
Guy Carleton Wiggins
Hayley Lever
Reginald Marsh
Milton Avery
Emile Gruppe
Jane Peterson
Hermann Herzog
Everett Shinn
Anthony Thieme
Albert Bierstadt
Bruce Crane
Frederick Judd Waugh
Ernest Lawson
John Joseph Enneking
Norman Rockwell
Charles Burchfield
Emil Carlsen
Harriet Whitney Frishmuth
Raphael Soyer
Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait
Eric Sloane
Jasper Francis Cropsey
Edmund Darch Lewis
Johann Berthelsen
Robert Henri
George Inness
John Marin
William Zorach
David Johnson
George Luks
Abbott Fuller Graves
Leon Kroll
Joseph Stella
Thomas Moran
Childe Hassam
Arthur Clifton Goodwin
Walter Launt Palmer
Martha Walter
Alexander Helwig Wyant
Harry Roseland
Grandma Moses
William Glackens
Walt Kuhn
John Whorf
Frederic Remington
William Hart
Edward Henry
Edward Henry Potthast
Guy Pene Du Bois

  go to top home | site map | site terms | AskART services & subscriptions | contact | about us
  copyright © 2000-2015 AskART all rights reserved ® AskART and Artists' Bluebook are registered trademarks

  A |  B |  C |  D-E |  F-G |  H |  I-K |  L |  M |  N-P |  Q-R |  S |  T-V |  W-Z  
  frequently searched artists 1, 2, more...  
  art appraisals, art for sale, auction records, misc artists