Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, Leipzig: W. Engelmann, 1907–50, Vol. XXIII, p. 407: “Lotichius, Ernst, Tier-, Genre- u. Landschaftsmaler aus Wiesbaden, ausgebildet in Düsseldorf; seit 1841 in München tätig.” The bibliographical reference to Nagler, vol. VIII is wrong. It is Vol. IX, p. 58. There’s also a reference to “Kat. Ausst. Rhein. Kstver. Mainz 1839 u. 1846.”
Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon: Bio-Bibliographischer Index A–Z, Munich: K. G. Saur, Vol. 6 (2000), p. 352. There’s not much more there than was given in Thieme–Becker, except they have 1841 as Lotichius’s earliest appearance, and 1858 as his last. They also give D[eutschland] and U.S.A. as his nationalities, and references to Groce & Wallace, and Ludwig.
Georg Kaspar Nagler, Neues allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon, Leipzig: Schwarzenberg and Schumann, 1872–85, Vol. IX, p. 58, where “Lotichius, Ernst, Maler von Wiesbaden, bildete sich auf der Akademie zu Düsseldorf, doch kennen wir seine Lebensverhältnisse nicht. Er malt Genrestücke,” which doesn’t get us very much further, but let us presume that Ernst did not shine auf der Akademie, which is why they couldn’t furnish the Lebensverhältnisse.
H. Ludwig, ed., Münchner Maler im 19. Jahrhundert, Munich: Bruckmann, 1981–94, Vol. 3, p. 77. In her entry for Ernst Lotichius, Christiane Sternsdorf-Hauck writes: “Ab 1841 war er in München ausässig und betätigte sich dort als Tier-, Genre- und Landschaftsmaler.” There’s a B&W illustration of a horrible Rast am Paß, which looks not dissimilar to the description of what is in this painting. It’s 32 x 39.5 cm, signed with a monogram u.l., and dated 1838 “(München: Galerie Gebhardt).” The monogram consists of a regular capital L, with a back-to-front capital E using the same vertical stroke.
George C. Groce and David H. Wallace, The New York Historical Society’s Dictionary of Artists in America, 1564–1860, New Haven and New York: The Society, 1957, p. 404, meanwhile, gives “Lotichius, Ernest. Animal, landscape, and genre painter. He was working in Düsseldorf and Munich about 1841, but by 1858 had settled in N.Y.C., exhibiting in that year a hunting scene and a view in the Catskills.” The references are back to Thieme–Becker, but also, usefully, to “Cowdrey, NAD.”
Mary Bartlett Cowdrey, National Academy of Design Exhibition Record, 1826–1860, New York: The Academy, 1943, Vol. 1, p. 299, states: “Lotichius, Ernest (active 1858) / 1858: Address 347 Broadway. / 183. A Pointer and Setter Pointing Quails. / 202. Catskill Mountains Near Palenville. For sale.” Just to be certain, I double-checked Maria Naylor, ed., National Academy of Design Exhibition Record, 1861–1900, New York: Kennedy Galleries, 1973, Vol. 1, p. 575, which is obviously a continuation of Cowdrey, and made a satisfactory breakthrough: “LOTESHIUS (or LOTISHIUS), Ernest, 1866 No address given. / 400. Danger in the Rear. The Artist.” The form of the name sounds very much like a vague but plucky reading of unclear longhand, and not an Ellis Island special.
There’s a picture by him in the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the State University of New York at New Paltz: “Ernest Lotichius (1840–1874), Deer in the Morning Mist, 1858,” but I am not sure where they are getting those dates. And there are only three pictures showing up on artnet.com, and only one with a photo (the first). The details:
(1) Ernst Lotichius, Farmstead with a River View, 1857, oil on canvas, 12 x 18 inches (30.5 x 45.7 cm) “Signed and inscribed [presumably with date?].” Fine American and European Paintings, Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers, Milford, Conn., Thursday, October 26, 2000, lot 207, est. $1,500–2,000, sold for $2,875 with premium.
(2) Ernst Lotichius, An Early View of New York with Figures and Cattle by a Mill, 1821 [sic], possibly 1871? Oil on canvas, 26 x 36 inches (66 x 91.4 cm) Fine English and Continental Furniture, Decorations and Paintings, Doyle, New York, Auctioneers and Appraisers, Wednesday, February 23, 1994, lot 56, est. $2,000–3,000, sold for $3,220.
(3) Ernst Lotichius, Gebirgsbauernhof, im Vordergrund links Wegkreuz, dahinter Kornfeld, no date, oil on canvas, 9.4 x 11.8 inches (23.9 x 30 cm) “signed”. Hugo Ruef Kunstauktionen, Munich, Thursday, March 25, 1993, lot 664, est 1,800 DM, bought in.
View in the Catskills with Deer by “Ernest” Lotichius was reproduced in Magazine Antiques, Vol. 95, February 1969, p. 205.
The family appeared to have been distinguished. According to J. G. E. Bernstein, “Biographie des Lotichius Secundus,” Zeitschrift für die Provinz Hanau, Vol. 1, 1839, p. 182: “Gedachter Entel, Johann Abraham Lotichius hinterließ drei Sonne: der eine, Johann Philipp, lebte als Pfarrer in Frankfurt; der leßte, Johann Ludwig, war daselbst Kaufmann, sein Sohn zog als solcher nach England; von dem mittlesten Sohn des Magisters stammt die Lotichius’sche familie in Wiesbaden, deren jeßiger Absömmling Ernst Lotichius sich der Malerei mit entschiedenem Talent gewidmet hat.”
But according to Gustav Toepke’s Die Matrikel der Universität Heidelberg, Heidelberg: Carl Winter’s Universitätsbuchhandlung, 1904, Vol. 5, p. 477, Ernst Lotichius of Wiesbaden matriculated at Heidelberg on November 26, 1831, aged 18. He was Protestant, but is this our man?
Finally, there is German wiki—to be approached with extreme caution, but new flecks of detail emerge:
Ernst Lotichius (*1787 in Wiesbaden [can this be the right man?]; †1876 in Wiesbaden) war ein deutscher Künstler. Lotichius studierte an der Düsseldorfer Akademie Malerei. Er war der Sohn des in Wiesbaden-Clarenthal ansässigen Johann Friedrich Lotichius, der Herzoglich Nassauischer Domänenrath war. Von ihm ist bekannt, dass er 1839 und 1846 im damals berühmten Rheinischen Kunstverein zu Mainz ausgestellt hat. Längere Zeit arbeitete Lotichius in Kronberg im Taunus, in München und in Amerika. Den Kontakt zu seiner Heimatstadt hat der Künstler stets gepflegt. Seinen Lebensabend verbrachte er in Wiesbaden.
They list another picture in the Museum Wiesbaden, Frachtführer auf einer Alpenstraße, 1838, Öl/Leinw. 32 x 39.5 cm, Inv. Nr.: M 942.
But according to AskART („The Artists Blue Book“ www.askart.com/AskART/artists/ biography.aspx? artist=10033353) Lotichius‘s dates are Wiesbaden 1840–1876 Wiesbaden. No sources are given, but they remark: „An animal, landscape, and genre painter, Ernest Lotichius received his initial art instruction in Germany, working in Dusseldorf and Munich until 1841. He emigrated to the United States, settling in New York City by 1858. He exhibited at the National Academy of Design under the name of Loteshius, and also exhibited at the Brooklyn Art Association, Zanesville Industrial Exposition, Philadelphia Sketch Club, and the Cosmopolitan Art Association.
According to the Art Sales Index a picture entitled The Hudson Valley, 1860 (signed and dated), o/c, 30 x 25 in (76.2 x 63.5) was sold by William J. Jenack Fine Art Appraisers and Auctioneers are at 62 Kings Highway Bypass, Chester, N.Y., November 14, 2004, lot 174, est. $1,000–1,500, hammer: $7,250.
Manfred Grosskinsky et al. (Kunstlandschaft Rhein-Main: Malerei im 19. Jahrhundert, 1806–1866, Frankfurt am Main: Haus Giersch-Museum Regionaler Kunst, 2000, p. 83) give “Ernst Lotichius (1813–1876),” presumably based on that record of matriculation in Heidelberg.
So, in nuce: Born Wiesbaden 1813, the son of Johann Friedrich L., a senior Protestant official of the ducal province of Hesse-Nassau. Metriculated at U. Heidelberg aged 18 in November 1831, but evidently drops out. Studies at the Akademie zu Düsseldorf, with mixed results. Was well enough known by 1838 to rate a mention in the local Hanau provincial family history, by which time (1839) he was also exhibiting pictures at the Rheinischen Kunstverein in Mainz (then again in 1846). He worked “for a long time” in Kronberg im Taunus, and (maybe from 1841) in Munich and maybe also Düsseldorf. He was presumably in Australia by 1855—hitherto completely undocumented. But did he actually go there? The evidence of this picture suggests to me that he did, even if only briefly. If indeed he went, presumably he got a nasty sort of surprise and fairly soon decided to sail onward across the Pacific to the United States of America. By 1858 he lived at 347 Broadway in New York. (The present site is near the corner of Broadway and Leonard Street in Tribeca.) He is documented showing at the National Academy of Design (1858 and 1866), the Brooklyn Art Association, the Zanesville Industrial Exposition (Zanesville, Ohio, 1873), the Philadelphia Sketch Club, and the Cosmopolitan Art Association in New York. He is said to have spent his Lebensabend in Wiesbaden (wiki), and apparently died there in 1876, but I wonder if this is true.