Charles Christian Nahl (1818-1878
Charles Christian Nahl was born in to a family of artists in Kassel, Germany in 1818. Nahl studied at the Kassel Academy before moving to Paris in 1846 where he exhibited in the prestigious Paris Salon. The onset of the French Revolution prompted Nahl to move to America and ultimately California, where he tried to find fortune in the Gold Rush. Failing as a prospector, Nahl opened a studio in Sacramento before moving to San Francisco in 1852 where he accepted commercial work as a means of income. His most famous commission was to design the Grizzly Bear that adorns the California State flag. Though he did do many portraits, Nahl’s finest legacy is in his paintings chronicling the (sometimes salty) lives of the early prospectors and miners. Charles Christian Nahl died of Typhoid fever in San Francisco in 1878.