Franz Hoepfner (1840 - 1893)

Franz Hoepfner served as a sergeant in the Prussian army in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1) where he saw action at the siege of Paris.

He moved to England in the 1870s, marrying Bessey Strawbridge in Bristol in 1879. Hoepfner came to the Isle of Man in 1886 under commission from Mr Bregazzi of Duke Street, Douglas. Soon after he completed a series of paintings of Manx views intended for an art exhibition on the Island. These eventually went to the Derby Castle Company and were exhibited at the Derby Castle Pavilion. Hoepfner lived and had his studio in Victoria Terrace, Douglas.

By the time of his death in 1893 he was living in Liverpool with a studio in the Temple, Dale Street. Considered as having a volatile personality and known to carry a revolver, Hoepfner did in fact challenge to a duel the doctor he held responsible for his wife’s death. As a result Hoepfner was arrested, shortly after which he committed suicide.

Hoepfner had become a well-known artist on the Island but also in London, Liverpool and on the continent.