Charles Schreyvogel

(1861-1912)

Charles Schreyvogel worked as an apprentice to a gold engraver as a young boy and later became a die sinker. In 1877 he tried to earn income as a lithographer but his lifestyle remained quite meager. He attended the Newark Art League and studied with August Schwabe and then went to the Royal Academy in Munich from 1887-90. He enjoyed painting Western scenes and was able to travel West due to the patronage of W.R. Fischer. While on his trip, Schreyvogel sketched in Colorado and Arizona. He made a second trip west in the same year to sketch troopers and Indians in the Dakotas for a series on the Western Army. His work did not sell until he entered a painting from his travels, "My Bunkie", into the National Academy of Design exhibition in 1900. He won first prize and gained sudden success at the age of 40. "My Bunkie" is a dramatic Western scene of a cavalryman rescuing an unhorsed comrade from pursuing Indians. Schreyvogel was favorably compared with Frederic Remington, another Western genre painter. "Custer's Demand" (1903) received critical acclaim for its composition, drama and sense of color. Numerous works were reproduced and garnered a large following. Schreyvogel died in 1912 of blood poisoning and left fewer that 100 known paintings.