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 :. | Hetch Hetchy Valley | Sierra_Nevada_aka_From_the_Head_of_the_Carson_River, California | The Wolf River, Kansas | The Matterhorn | Buffalo Trail |
Related Artists:RUYSDAEL, Salomon van
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, ca.1600-1670.
Dutch painter. He is best known for his atmospheric, almost monochromatic, river scenes, painted in the 1630s during the 'tonal phase' of Dutch art. His work in this genre is very close in style to that of Jan van Goyen, and their paintings have often been confused.Anna Lea Merritt
American Pre-Raphaelite Painter, 1844-1930
English painter, muralist and printmaker of American birth. She is best known for her Victorian portraits, allegorical and religious paintings, landscapes and floral scenes and was successful in spite of the difficulties that she encountered as a professional woman artist working in Victorian England. After brief artistic tours to Florence, Dresden and Paris, where she studied in L?on Cogniet's atelier, she began intensive instruction in 1870 from Henry Merritt (1822-77), an Englishman who restored works of art from important collections and wrote on art, exhibitions and conservation. Anna Lea and Henry Merritt were married in July 1877; three months later he died. Love Locked out (1889; London, Tate), depicting love at the door of a tomb, was painted as a memorial to her husband. Bourdon, Sebastien
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