Frederick August Wenderoth | 281177 | Page 1
Abd El-Kader and his Horses
Private Collection,The Alexander Gallery, New York
Private Collection, New York
Born in Kassel, Germany in 1819, Frederick was a pupil of his father, Carl Wenderoth, from an early age and later studied at the Kassel Academy. Accompanied by fellow painter Charles Christian Nahl and family, he moved to Paris in 1846.
Wenderoth painted El-Kader’s portrait in 1849 when the lives of the two great men crossed paths in France on their way to their separate destinies. Wenderoth would leave for New York the very same year while Amir Abd El-Kader would be released from France three years later and depart for Damascus. Though a prisoner of war, the charismatic Amir enjoyed celebrity status among the French and made friends among members of French high society. A true humanist, he favored positive cultural exchange and did not reject European influence, successfully exerting in his turn a strong influence on French society and French policy. His Arabian horses were prized possessions, famed and envied, subject to many paintings, drawings and etchings. El-Kader co-authored the first ever book on the Arabian Horse.
Wenderoth went on to become one of the most famed American painters of the California Gold Rush era and one of the first American photographers. Amir Abd El-Kader became an international legend and is honored to this day as an Algerian national hero.