Drexel, Francis Martin
- William Weisberger
Drexel, Francis Martin (07 April 1792–05 June 1863), investment banker and painter, was born in Dornbirn, Austria, the son of Franz Joseph Drexel, a merchant, and Magdalen Willhelm. Drexel’s father sent him to Milan in 1803 to attend school; he took courses in Italian and in the fine arts and began his career as a painter. As a result of problems in his father’s business and the eruption of the Napoleonic Wars, in 1806 Drexel returned to Dornbirn to assist his father. Drexel, who was not drafted into the Hapsburg army, two years later continued his studies, first in France and then in Switzerland. He also painted portraits, decorated coaches, and drew pictorial signs. After spending time in Dornbirn between 1815 and 1817, the adventurous Drexel, who was disenchanted with the economic and political conditions in Austria, decided to leave Europe. In 1817 he sailed from Amsterdam on the ...