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Jacob Eichholtz
Date: 1776 - 1842
Biography: Born in Lancaster, the son of German immigrants to Pennsylvania. Though interested in drawing and lettering, he was a coppersmith by trade and never owned proper painting materials until he was nearly 35 years old, when Thomas Sully gave him a few half-worn brushes and a little instruction. He began making portraits of his fellow townsmen and some years later was encouraged to visit Gilbert Stuart in Boston and study with him. He returned to Pennsylvania, gave up his former trade, and set himself up as a portrait painter. He was in Baltimore in 1820 and from 1821 to 1831 in Philadelphia, where he worked for many distinguished families, whose names with the fees charged he recorded in his ledger. Eventually he was successful enough to afford returning to Lancaster, where he spent the rest of his life fulfilling many private as well as official commissions. He died on May 11, 1842.