WEYL, MAX (1837 - 1914)

by Edward P. Bentley

A favorite Washington, D.C. artist of the late 19th century, Max Weyl was born of Jewish parents, December 1, 1837, in Muhlen-am-Neckar, Germany. At a young age he was apprenticed to a watchmaker. In 1853 the family immigrated to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, where Weyl worked in watch and clock repair. By 1861 he had found his way to Washington, D.C. and established himself as a jeweler. He began to dabble in painting and often displayed his work - still-life's of fruit and flowers - in his shop windows.

Deciding to become a full-time landscape artist in 1878, Weyl undertook a year of study abroad, visiting studios and galleries in Munich, Paris, Vienna and Venice. Returning home, he and a group of fellow artists formed the "Washington Landscape School," which recorded the beauty of Washington and the Potomac - Georgetown and Rock Creek Park being two favorite locations.

Influential and very popular in art circles - the "American Daubigny" as he was called - the artist was an active figure in Washington for many years. His work found its way into many local collections including the White House where purchases were made by Mrs. Grover Cleveland and Mrs. Woodrow Wilson.

On Weyl's 70th birthday in 1907, the Corcoran Gallery held a retrospective exhibit of his work. A group of local citizens purchased and donated a work by him to the National Gallery of Art. In recognition and praise they stated: "From the standpoint of art you have contributed works of genius that will stand for all time: while your bearing as a man, citizen and friend has been of that modest and yet far-reaching character that wins the love and retains the esteem of those with whom you have come in contact."

"Rock Creek Park" - Courtesy of the Haussner Family Limited Partnership, Haussner Restaurant, Baltimore

Edward P. Bentley of Lansing, Michigan, enjoys researching early American art and is an accomplished photographer.

ŠThe Fine Arts Trader 2009