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Charles Reiffel was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 9, 1862.  Reiffel worked in Cincinnati for the Stowbridge Lithography Company and later continued in lithography in New York and England.  Travelling to Europe, he studied briefly with Carl Marr at the Munich Academy, but was essentially a self-taught artist.  After six years in Europe, he returned to Buffalo, New York shortly after the turn of the century and continued in the lithography business.  It was during this period that his modern approach to painting began to attract favorable notices.  In 1912 he purchased a home in Silvermine, Connecticut while continuing to commute to New York City to attend to his lithography business.  About 1921, Reiffel abandoned lithography to devote full time to easel painting.  In 1925, he and his wife visited San Diego and were so enchanted with the area they decided to remain.  His Southern California landscapes brought him national acclaim before his death in San Diego on March 14, 1942.