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Egypt

Elihu Vedder was born February 26, 1836 in New York City, the son of Dr. Elihu Vedder Sr. and Elizabeth Vedder. His parents were cousins. His father, a dentist, decided to try his luck in Cuba and this had a profound impact on Elihu Jr.’s childhood. Vedder trained in New York City with Tompkins H. Matteson, then in Paris with François-Édouard Picot. Finally, he completed his studies in Italy – where he was strongly influenced not only by Italian Renaissance work but also by the modern Macchiaioli painters and the living Italian landscape. He first visited Italy from 1858 until 1860, becoming deeply emotionally attached to fellow painter Giovanni Costa. Their idyllic trips through the Italian countryside were cut short because Vedder’s father cut off his financial allowance.
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Flight and Pursuit
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Lair of the Sea-serpent
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The Sphinx

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The Dead Alchemist

Vedder returned to the USA, penniless, during the American Civil War, and made a small living by undertaking commercial illustrations. He was involved in the bohemian ‘Pfaff’s’ coffee house group, and painted some of his most memorable paintings notable for their visionary nature, romantic imagery and often Oriental influences. Paintings of this time include ‘The Roc’s Egg’, ‘The Fisherman and the Genii’ and one of his most famous works, ‘Lair of the Sea Serpent.’ In the USA he sought out and became friends with Walt Whitman, Herman Melville and William Morris Hunt. Vedder became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1865.
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The roc’s egg
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Memory
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Fisherman and the Genie
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The lonely spring