Otto Adolph Stemler, American, 1872-1953

When color litho printing process was invented in the late 1800's, American artists began to convert favored illustrations into full color. Otto Adolph Stemler was by far the most accomplished at this, in my opinion. O.A. Stemler converted most of the Hofmann and Plockhorst engravings from the 1800's into beautiful full-color illustrations.

Stemler also converted the works of other famous illustrators such as Gustave Dore, Alexander Bida and William Bouguereau, in addition to creating his own Bible illustrations while he worked for the Standard Publishing Company.

As with the illustrations of Hofmann and Plockhorst, there is nice continuity in all of Stemler's work. The image of Jesus looks the same throughout his series, even though the images are inspired from many sources. 

Not much is known about Otto A. Stemler, especially during his early career. Later in life he worked for Standard Publishing full time, but he may have done free-lance work before that because his images show up in the publications of Providence Litho, Messenger Corporation and others. 

Apparently Stemler did religious art almost exclusively, and stayed in publishing almost entirely. I did see a large canvas mural on ebay one time: an oil painting of Hofmann's Jesus with the children. I have wondered if Stemler was the one who painted it, since it was very much like his litho prints. But another artist could have copied one of Stemler's published prints, as well.