Very little is known about the itinerant artist, Ferdinand Brader. Born in Switzerland, Brader came to the United States in the 1870s, settling in Pennsylvania and working his way westward, from county to county, eventually ending up in Ohio. Why it is that he traveled in this direction is not certain, although it could be that Brader was generally welcome among these areas’ Germanic populations.
Untrained, Brader is known for his large, bird’s-eye views of family homesteads, farms, and other lands done in pencil. Initially monochromatic, by the early 1890s Brader’s works begin to show the use of colored pencils. It is not known what ultimately happened to Brader, although a return to Europe has been suggested.