(February 26, 1836 - January 29, 1923) U.S.A.
Painter, illustrator, sculptor and writer
Born in New York City, he studied under the genre and historical painter Tompkins Harrison Matteson, at Sherburne, N.Y., later under Picot, in Paris. After eight months in the studio of François-Edouard Picot, he settled in Florence until the end of 1860. There he learnt drawing from Raffaello Bonaiuti, became interested in the Florentine Renaissance.
After 1867 he lived in Rome, making occasional visits to America. For the rest of his life he travelled frequently in Europe and back to America.
He was elected to full membership in the National Academy of Design, New York, in 1865. He devoted himself to the painting of genre pictures, which, however, attracted only modest attention until the publication, in 1884, of his illustrations to the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam; these immediately gave him a high place in the art world.
Vedder worked on line illustrations from the 1860s, when he found difficulty supporting himself in New York as a painter of then-unfashionable topics. He continued with illustrative work even after he established himself, including pictures to accompany his own poetry, and most well-known, 56 illustrations for a version of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (published 1884).
Important decorative work came later, notably the painting symbolizing the art of the city of Rome, in the Walker Art Gallery of Bowdoin College, Maine, and the five murals for the Library of Congress, murals for the Hundington Mansion, New York (1892-4), and those at the Walter Art Building, Bowdoin College, Maine (1894).
He died in Rome.