Severin Roesen was a still-life specialist in the mid-Victorian period. Much of his biography remains uncertain. He was probably born in Prussia about 1815 or 1816. He may have been the porcelain painter who exhibited a floral still life at an art club in Cologne, Germany, in 1847, and he may have emigrated to the United States in 1848 as one of the large group of German immigrants settling in this country at that time. A variety of contemporary documentary evidence, such as records of his marriage to Wilhelmina Ludwig and the births of their children, place him in New York from 1848 to 1857. During these years he was very active there, judging by the number of his signed paintings and records of his sales to the American Art-Union. Around 1858 he left his family and went to Pennsylvania, spending time in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and Huntingdon before settling in Williamsport about 1862. The date and place of his death are unknown. The latest date on any of his paintings is 1872, the last year that his name appears in the Williamsport city directory.
Richard B. Stone, "Not Quite Forgotten: A Study of the Williamsport Painter, S. Roesen," Lycoming Historical Society Proceedings and Papers, no. 9 (November 1951): 3-40, with catalogue of known paintings and bibliography § Maurice A. Mook, "Severin Roesen: The Williamsport Painter," Lycoming College Magazine 25 (June 1972): 33 - 41 § Maurice A. Mook, "Severin Roesen: Also the Huntingdon Painter," Lycoming College Magazine 26 (June 1973): 13-16,23-30 § Lois Goldreich Marcus, Severin Roesen: A Chronology (Williamsport, Pa.: Lycoming County Historical Society and Museum, [c. 1976]), with bibliography § Judith H. O’Toole, "Search of 1860 Census Reveals Biographical Information on Severin Roesen," American Art Journal 16 (Spring 1984): 90-91.