Joachim Ferdinand Richardt began his career at age 16 when he entered the Royal Danish Academy of Art in Copenhagen. A Danish native, Richardt’s works were purchased by King Christian VIII of Denmark, the Russian Czar, and the British royalty. After the completion of a number of landscape drawings, watercolors, paintings, and lithographs produced throughout Denmark and Sweden, Richardt traveled to the United States in 1855 at the invitation of William Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt commissioned him to paint Niagara Falls and his paintings of the landmark quickly became popular amongst the American aristocracy.
In 1859 Richardt held a solo exhibition at the National Academy of Design, and after a return to Europe, immigrated to the United States in 1873. By 1875 he had moved from New York to San Francisco. While he continued to paint views of Niagara, Richardt focused on California scenes, especially Yosemite. In the late 1870s he was an active part of an artists’ colony on the Monterey Peninsula with fellow artist Jules Tavernier. Richardt’s works are in many important collections both in the United States and abroad, including the New-York Historical Society, the White House, and the Thorwaldsen Museum in Copenhagen.