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 :. | Indians in Council, California | Beach Scene | Pikes Peak, Rocky Mountains | The Wolf River | California Redwoods |
Related Artists:Paul Baudry
French Academic Painter, 1828-1886. Specializes in Portraits
Specializes in Portraits.was a French painter. He studied under Michel Martin Drolling and carried off the Prix de Rome in 1850 by his picture of Zenobia found on the banks of the Araxes. His talent from the first revealed itself as strictly academical, full of elegance and grace, but somewhat lacking originality. In the course of his residence in Italy Baudry derived strong inspiration from Italian art with the mannerism of Correggio, as was very evident in the two works he exhibited in the Salon of 1857, which were purchased for the Luxembourg: The Martyrdom of a Vestal Virgin and The Child. His Leda, St John the Baptist, and a Portrait of Beul, exhibited at the same time, took a first prize that year. Throughout this early period Baudry commonly selected mythological or fanciful subjects, one of the most noteworthy being The Pearl and the Wave (1862). Once only did he attempt an historical picture, Charlotte Corday after the murder of Marat (1861); and returned by preference to the former class of subjects or to painting portraits of illustrious men of his day: Guizot, Charles Garnier, Edmond About. The works that crowned Baudrys reputation were his mural decorations, which show much imagination and a high artistic gift for color, as may be seen. in the frescoes in the Paris Court of Cassation. at the château of Chantilly, and some private residences the Hôtel Fould and Hôtel Paivabut, above all, in the decorations of the foyer of the Opera Garnier. These, more than thirty paintings in all, and among them compositions figurative of dancing and music, occupied the painter for ten years. Baudry was a member of the Institut de France, succeeding Jean-Victor Schnetz. Two of his colleagues, C. G. hellquistCarleton E.Watkins
American photographers , b. 1829, d. 1916
was a noted 19th century California photographer. Carleton Emmons Watkins was born in Oneonta, upstate New York. He went to San Francisco during the gold rush, arriving in 1851. He traveled to California with Oneontan Collis Huntington, who later became one of the owners of the Central Pacific Railroad, which helped Watkins later in his career. His interest in photography started as an aide in a San Francisco portrait studio, and started taking photographs of his own in 1861. He became interested in landscape photography and soon started making photographs of California mining scenes and of Yosemite Valley. He experimented with several new photographic techniques, and eventually favored his "Mammoth Camera," which used large glass plate negatives, and a stereographic camera. He became famous for his series of photographs and historic stereoviews of Yosemite Valley in the 1860s, and also created a variety images of California and Oregon in the 1870s and later. Watkins purchased the 1860s Central Pacific Railroad construction stereoview negatives from CPRR official photographer Alfred A. Hart and continued their publication through the 1870s. However Watkins was not a good businessman. He spent lavishly on his San Francisco studio and went deeply in debt. His photographs were auctioned, following a business setback, resulting in his photographs being published without credit by I. W. Taber, the new owner. Watkins also had problems of his photographs being reprinted without permission by Eastern companies and with other photographers rephotographing the exact scenes Watkins photographed. In 1879, Watkins married his 22-year-old assistant, Frances Sneade, with whom he had two children. Watkins began anew with his "New Series," which included a variety of subjects and formats, mostly related to California.