Julian Onderdonk was born in San Antonio, Texas and is known for his Texas landscape paintings. He was the son of the important Texas landscapist, Robert Jenkins Onderdonk. He was his father’s pupil at age sixteen, and then, sponsored by a Texas patron, attended the Art Student’s League in New York City at age nineteen. There, Onderdonk became the pupil of Cox, DuMond and Henri. Onderdonk also studied with Chase on Long Island.
In 1902, having lost his Texas patron because he married, Onderdonk sold twelve paintings to a Fifth Avenue dealer in New York City for $14. Seven years later, he returned to the family studio in San Antonio. There, he painted “the bigness of Texas, dusty roads, the blooming cactus or hillsides of blue lupine, rolling gulf clouds, aged live oaks and the gray brush in winter.”
A heavy-set man with dark eyes and hair, Onderdonk was quiet and serious with “a strong personality.” When he died at age forty, “five of his pictures were on the way to New York. He also had orders ahead for $20,000 worth of work.”
Reference: Samuels’ Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West – Peggy and Harold Samuels