Louis Michel Eilshemius

(1864-1941)

Louis Michel Eilshemius was born in 1864. He was a visionary painter whose work became more and more personal throughout his career. He studied in Geneva and Dresden before attending Cornell (1882-84), the Art Students League (1886) and Academie Julian. His subjects were usually drawn from dreams and nightmares. By the 1900s Eilshemius' work became feathery and sketchy, representing no particular style. In 1897, Eilshemius' exhibited worked had been ignored by critics and he became intent on bombarding dealers with more paintings. He produced over 3,000 works from 1882-1920. Another failed exhibition in 1909 drove Eilshemius' delusions overboard. He officially quit painting after his first solo show in 1921 and proclaimed himself "Mahatma, Mightiest of the Mighty." He proceeded to pass out leaflets listing grandiose accomplishments. Eilshemius died in the Bellevue Hospital in NYC in 1941.