Notes for CHARLES LOUIS HEYDE:
Son of ? and ?.
Born: 1822 in France.
Died: 1892 in the Vermont State Asylum in Waterbury, Vermont.
Buried: Lakeview Cemetery, Burlington, Chittenden County, Vermont.
Residence: Spent his childhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Early 1850s - Hoboken, New Jersey and Brooklyn, New York.
1856 - Moved to Burlington, Vermont.
Occupation: Painter of Vermont landscapes. His paintings are in museums all around the world.
Married: Hannah Louise Whitman March 16, 1852 in Unknown.
Number of Children: 0.
Apparently, the couple often led a near hand-to-mouth existence, changing residences in Burlington frequently or moving to other villages as Heyde continued to paint the same rural scenes. Hannah outlived all her siblings and adored her brother Walt for his self-constructed frame as much as for his brotherly allegiance.
Walt Whitman's future brother-in-law Charles L Heyde was among the artists he associated with in Brooklyn and New York during the early 1850's, after the two men met through Bryant. Most likely born in France and brought up in Philadelphia (his father perished at sea en route from Philadelphia to France), Heyde became a good friend of Whitman's - good enough not only to become one of the poet's "family" boarders at 106 Myrtle in 1851, where he may have had his atelier, but also to marry the poet's younger sister. Heyde would be one of those painters put out of work by photography in the 1880s.
By that time, his repeated paintings of Mt. Mansfield and Shelburne Bay in Vermont, where he and Hannah Louisa, Whitman's favorite sister, moved in 1852, had become monotonous and uninspired - no longer sustained by wealthy patrons devoted to nostalgic settings. The fact that he drank excessively by middle age also did not steady his painter's eye. Heyde was a scoundrel domestically in the opinion of the Whitmans for his mistreatment of his wife, Hannah. He became Whitman's lifelong nemesis ("the bed-buggiest of men" the poet told Traubel), but may also have been one of the poet's few "relatives" to appreciate (to the point of jealousy) Whitman's accomplishments in "Leaves of Grass".
Heyde began to exhibit the delusional behavior that finally landed him in the Vermont State Asylum at Waterbury, where he died, only months after Walt Whitman's death. Today Charles Louis Heyde is considered a noteworthy regional painter, whose productions are eagerly sought. But in his last days, both patrons and neighbors turned away from his work and his embarrassing behavior in public.
His first studio was on the corner of Maple and Water (now Battery) Streets in Burlington, Vermont. He subsequently established a studio and sales gallery on Church Street, where he gave painting lessons for many years.