William Louis Sonntag

Life Dates

William Louis Sonntag spent his early years near East Liberty, Pennsylvania, but moved to Cincinnati, Ohio in 1842 to pursue his training in art. Sonntag’s earliest landscapes were the product of his frequent excursions in the Ohio River Valley, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Establishing his artistic career, he embarked on a trip to Europe in 1853. After an extended stay in Florence, Italy, Sonntag returned to the US, settling in New York to further establish himself as a Romantic painter of Italian landscapes from his travels. Known too for his American landscapes, he is revered as a part of the Hudson River School, though in truth never painted the Hudson River valley itself.

Sonntag was elected an Associate at the National Academy of Design in 1860, and later an Academician, in 1861, among many other organizations. Today his work is represented in the permanent collections of institutions across America, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Art Gallery, Cincinnati Art Museum, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, and Harvard University.

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