By Christian Franzen
John Englehart was an important 19th century West Coast landscape painter. Born and raised in Chicago, he possessed a romanticized love of the American West since childhood. In the 1880s, Englehart moved to Northern California to paint the grand landscapes of the West. He maintained a studio in San Francisco but constantly took trips to Yosemite and other scenic Northern California locations.
Englehart found success in landscape painting, but was never looked at as a great landscape artist by the canon of the time. Many landscape painters did not like Englehart’s approach to landscape painting because it was a realistic rather than an idealized depiction of what the artist saw in the landscape. This idea was contradictory to the times leading landscape style of the Hudson River School. Englehart’s dedication to realism made him an outsider in the circles of 19th century landscape painters, but was later looked upon for inspiration in later landscape movements. Englehart continued to work in California in his San Francisco studio until his death in 1915.