The son of a woodcarver and a sculptor, painter Gari Melchers would travel to his family's native country of Germany, and then on to Paris to perfect his craft. Along the way his style would be influenced first by the darker German palette, and then by the brush work and colors of the French Impressionists.
He had learned to draw in his father's classes when he was very young, and by the age of seventeen he was in Dusseldorf, where he began to study painting in the Academic tradition. Upon leaving Germany he headed to Paris where he enrolled in the Academie Julian and the Ecole des Beaux Arts where he studied under Lefebvre and Boulanger.
His first submission to the Salon was accepted, and after completing his studies he decided to stay in Europe. He settled in Holland, where he studied the Old Dutch Masters and painted many genre scenes. After sixteen years there he relocated to Weimar in Germany, and served as a director for the city's art academy. The advent of World War I forced Melchers to return to the United States permanently, where he settled at "Belmont" near Fredericksburg, Virginia.
By this time his work had been most strongly and permanently influenced by the works of the Impressionists, and his murals, portraits, landscapes and figure paintings would rely on a brighter palette, impasto paint applications and the effects of light and shadow on the subject.
Melchers received many honors and awards during his life, including the Legion of Honor. His murals are in the Library of Congress and the Detroit Public Library, among other locations, and his works are in the collections of over forty museums in the United States.