Born in 1824 in Darmstadt, Germany, Hofmann knew from a young age that he wanted to be an artist, and growing up in an artistic home helped his talents flourish. Hofmann's mother taught drawing classes, and his father was a painter. Both parents were supportive of his studying the arts.
"Hofmann grew up watching his parents paint," said Ann Lambson, head of education for BYU's Museum of Art. "His father's paintings formed one of (Hofmann's) most cherished recollection of the arts."
The oldest of four boys, Hofmann was encouraged and nurtured in the importance of the arts and given time to use a paintbrush and to draw, allowing him to dabble and find his personal style.
He began a formal study of art, and in 1842 began his study in master classes. From there, Hofmann traveled through Europe to study the classical works of art. He later studied at Dusseldorf Academy in Germany and went on to become a teacher at Dresden in 1870.
Hofmann, who became known for his religious paintings, was asked if he used a model for the image of Christ because he painted the life of the Savior so often.
"When I read about Christ in the Bible, there arises spontaneously before my fancy a picture of him which I try to retain and reproduce — that is my only prototype," Hofmann said, according to Lambson.
Schwartz was born in 1850 in Copenhagen to a family that owned a successful and prominent wood-turning business.
Schwartz, who had a passion for art, attended the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1866 at the age of 16. While there, he earned a gold medal for a painting titled "Job and His Friends." Though the painting has been lost, it helped launch his career.
In addition to his love of the arts, Schwartz founded a group named KWIMS — from the initials of the founders — a group of intellectuals that included a chemist, an author, an artist and others.
Schwartz traveled to Spain in 1878 to study painting.
Pheysey described Schwartz as a very eccentric man but very generous. He never married, and after his death in 1917 left money to the city of Copenhagen in the form of a scholarship fund, making it possible for artistic decoration of public buildings.
As Schwartz was independently wealthy, he never painted for monetary gain. When asked about his endeavors on altar paintings, Pheysey said Schwartz completed the works because he wanted to.
At his funeral, Pheysey said, the priest who spoke said that his art was divinely endowed and seemed worthier than many a sermon.
Emmilie Buchanan-Whitlock is an intern for the Deseret News with Mormon Times. She recently graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho. Contact her by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: emmiliewhitlock
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