A Dutch born painter who enjoyed popularity in his own time, Ferdinand Richardt was respected in his native country and is a recognized part of the San Francisco Bay Area art scene.
His initial ambition was to become a carpenter but he decided to pursue a life as a painter as his older brother had done. Richardt attended the Royal Danish Academy of Art beginning in 1836. In 1839 he was the recipient of the Academy's small silver medal and in 1840 received the large silver medal.
He produced one architectural and one landscape each year for the Danish crown under the conditions of a stipend arrangement. This carried on for five years. In the mid-Eighteen Fifties, he made trips to the United States. During these trips, he established a studio in New York City and spent much of his time exploring the nation. He had a particular interest in Niagara Falls.
He returned to Europe for a time, his work being exhibited at the court at Windsor Castle at the invitation of Queen Victoria.
Upon moving back to the US in the 1870's Ferdinand Richardt began producing the paintings of Niagara Falls for which he remains well known, he also painted California landscapes.