German-born American Hudson River School Painter, 1830-1902
Bierstadt was born in Solingen, Germany. His family moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1833. He studied painting with the members of the D??sseldorf School in D??sseldorf, Germany from 1853 to 1857. He taught drawing and painting briefly before devoting himself to painting.
Bierstadt began making paintings in New England and upstate New York. In 1859, he traveled westward in the company of a Land Surveyor for the U.S. government, returning with sketches that would result in numerous finished paintings. In 1863 he returned west again, in the company of the author Fitz Hugh Ludlow, whose wife he would later marry. He continued to visit the American West throughout his career.
Though his paintings sold for princely sums, Bierstadt was not held in particularly high esteem by critics of his day. His use of uncommonly large canvases was thought to be an egotistical indulgence, as his paintings would invariably dwarf those of his contemporaries when they were displayed together. The romanticism evident in his choices of subject and in his use of light was felt to be excessive by contemporary critics. His paintings emphasized atmospheric elements like fog, clouds and mist to accentuate and complement the feel of his work. Bierstadt sometimes changed details of the landscape to inspire awe. The colors he used are also not always true. He painted what he believed is the way things should be: water is ultramarine, vegetation is lush and green, etc. The shift from foreground to background was very dramatic and there was almost no middle distance
Nonetheless, his paintings remain popular. He was a prolific artist, having completed over 500 (possibly as many as 4000) paintings during his lifetime, most of which have survived. Many are scattered through museums around the United States. Prints are available commercially for many. Original paintings themselves do occasionally come up for sale, at ever increasing prices. Related Paintings of Albert Bierstadt :. | Lake Tahoe, Spearing Fish by Torchlight | Home of the Rainbow, Horseshoe Falls, Niagara | Passing Storm over the Sierra Nevada | California Redwoods | Evening Glow at Lake Louise, Rocky Mountains, Canada |
Related Artists:MASTER of Saint Cecilia
Italian Byzantine Style Painter, active 1300-1320Antoine Leon Morel-Fatio
French, 1810-1871Michiel Sweerts
(29 September 1618-1664), also known as Michael Sweerts, was a Flemish painter of the Baroque period, active in Rome (1645-1656) in the style of the Bamboccianti. The Bamboccianti were known for depicting genre scenes of daily life, but Sweerts's contributions to this genre display greater stylistic mastery and social-philosophical sensitivity than many of his colleagues in this "school." Highly successful in Rome during his years there, Sweerts's reputation suffered a severe collapse not long after his death, lasting centuries; but thanks especially to the 2002 international monographic exhibition devoted entirely to him, Michael Sweerts: 1618-1664, he has begun once again to enjoy the esteem his work clearly merits.
Born in Brussels, he arrived in Rome in 1646, and rapidly moved into the circle of Flemish painters associated with Pieter van Laer (leader of the so-called Bamboccianti painters) and that resided near Santa Maria del Popolo. In 1647, he attended meetings of the Accademia di San Luca, although not as a member. Despite the fragmentary nature of evidence pertaining to his career in Rome and the post-mortem eclipse of his reputation, we know that Sweerts succeeded in creating for himself a sufficiently exalted reputation in the city so as to enter into the service of the ruling papal family itself, the Pamphilj, more specifically, Camillo Pamphilj, nephew of reigning Pope Innocent X who, at the encouragement of Camillo, bestowed upon Sweerts the papal title of Cavaliere di Cristo, the same honor enjoyed by the likes of Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Francesco Borromini. Despite working in the highest echelons of papal patronage in Rome, sometime between 1652 and 1654, for reasons unknown Sweerts left the Eternal City and returned to the North, and by 1656, he had returned to Brussels, where he joined the painter's guild. He joined the Paris Foreign Missions Society as a lay brother and became a devout Christian. In 1658 he made the guild a self portrait as a farewell gift and moved to Amsterdam, where he would oversee the building of a ship for travel with the aforementioned Missions Étrangeres to Palestine.