(10 April 1819 - 29 October 1895) Danish-American artist, in Denmark known for his lithographs of manor houses, and in the U.S. for his paintings of Niagara Falls and other landscapes.
Ferdinand Richardt, the son of Johan Joachim Richardt and Johanne Frederikke ne Bohse, was born in Brede, north of Copenhagen in 1819. His father ran the inn/company store at the Brede factory. In 1832 the family relocated to nearby Ørholm to operate the inn at the paper-factory there. In 1839, they moved to Copenhagen.
Ferdinand became briefly a carpenter's apprentice in 1835, but soon decided on a career in fine art, following the lead of his brother Carl. Beginning in 1836 Ferdinand studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Art under the architect and designer Gustav Friedrich Hetsch, the historical painter J. L. Lund and the classical sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen. Richardt was awarded the Academy's small and large silver medals in 1839 and 1840, respectively.
In 1847, he received a five year stipend from the crown, on the condition that he deliver one architectural and one landscape painting each year to the royal collection. Between 1855 and 1859 he visited in the United States. He maintained a studio in New York City, while traveling during the summers to Niagara Falls and to various destinations east of the Mississippi River.
After returning to Denmark, Richardt married the widow Sophia Schneider ne Linnemann (1831-1888) in 1862. They traveled for part of a year in southern Europe, and from 1863 they lived for a period in England. In February 1864, Queen Victoria invited Richardt to display his art work to the court at Windsor Castle.
In 1872 and 1873, Richardt sold many of his accumulated paintings and lithographs before emigrating to the United States with his family. They lived first in the town of Niagara Falls, N.Y. where the artist again produced canvases depicting the great waterfall and the surrounding area. In 1875, the Richardts moved to San Francisco, and finally in 1876 to Oakland. For the remaining twenty years of his life Richardt was active as a painter of California landscapes with a concentration on the San Francisco Bay Area. He exhibited and sold his works in San Francisco until at least 1887. At the same time he taught drawing privately. At his death in 1895, Richardt left a daughter, Johanna (1862-1897), and a stepson, Joost Schneider.