Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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VEDDER, Elihu, artist, born in New York city, 26 February, 1836. He had his first instruction in art in his native city, and later studied with Tompkins H. Matteson in Sherbourne, New York, and Francois Edouard Picot in Paris. In 1856 he went to Italy, and subsequently he opened a studio in New York. He was there elected an associate of the National academy in 1863, and an associate two years later. Subsequently he removed to Rome, Italy, where he still resides. His works, while naturalistic and vigorous in treatment, are ideal in motive, and bear witness to the fertility of imagination and versatility of the artist. In many of his pictures he aims, as one critic has said, "to give to the unreal and impossible an air of plausibility and real existence." One of the best known of his paintings is the "Lair of the Sea-Serpent," now in the Boston museum of fine arts, where are also "The Roc's Egg" (two paintings), "Fisherman and Djin," "Dominican Friars," and "An Italian Woman." His other works include "The Monk upon the Gloomy Path"; "The Crucifixion"; "The Lost Mind"; "Death of Abel" (1869); " A Scene on the Mediterranean" (1874); "Greek Actor's Daughter," exhibited at Philadelphia in 1876; "Old Madonna," "Cumean Sibyl," now belonging to Wellesley college, Massachusetts, and "Young Marsyas," the three exhibited at the Paris exposition of 1878 ; "A Questioner of the Sphinx" ; "Sleeping Girl" ; "A Venetian Model" ; "A Pastoral," exhibited in Boston in 1878 ; "Nausicaa and her Companions" ; "Waves off Pier Head" (1882); and "Le Mistral" (1884). His ideal works have given rise to much criticism and discussion as to their conception and' intent. He has also executed an "accompaniment of drawings" for Edward Fitzgerald's translation of the "Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" (Boston, 1884).
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