Carl Christian Heinrich Nahl (October 18, 1818 in Kassel – March 1, 1878 in San Francisco), later known as Charles Nahl, and sometimes Karl Nahl, Charles Christian Nahl or Charles C. Nahl, was a German-born painter who is called California's first significant artist.
He was the son of Georg Valentin Friedrich Nahl (1791–1857) and Henriette (Weickh) Nahl (1796–1863). His parents divorced in 1826. He came from a long line of artists and sculptors. His great-grandfather was Johann August Nahl, the German sculptor and stuccist.
Nahl was trained at the Cassel Academy.
Unease over the political state of Hesse led him and his friend Frederick August Wenderoth (1819–1884) to Paris in 1846, where he enjoyed some success at the salon and changed his name to "Charles". The February Revolution prompted another move with his mother and siblings, including half-brother Hugo Wilhelm Arthur Nahl (1833–1889) to Brooklyn, New York, where they heard of the gold strike. He arrived in Nevada City, Californ...