St. Louis Mercantile Library

 

Carl Wimar, Jim Birches Grave
Carl Wimar, Jim Birches Grave, 1859, charcoal on paper
Charles Ferdinand (Carl) Wimar (1828 - 1862),
Jim Birches Grave, Upper Missouri River, July 8, 1859
,

charcoal on paper
Collection of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri - St. Louis

Carl Wimar was born in Germany and came to St. Louis with his mother in 1843. He had begun painting at an early age, and in St. Louis he was apprenticed to Leon Pomarede, a French painter working in the city; together they traveled up the Mississippi River by steamboat creating sketches of the landscape. In the 1850s Wimar returned to Germany to study art at the prestigious Dusseldorf Academy, and in 1856 he returned to St. Louis where he continued his travels. Throughout his career, the landscape and the lives of Native Americans remained his favored subjects.

This sketch was created on one of Wimar’s many trips along the Missouri River. Although he was fascinated with the landscape of the American West, Wimar also documented events of local interest, such as the grave site of a well-known citizen.

Expand Your Horizons Click here to learn more about the role of the sketch in the artist's process.