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 :. | Bahama Cove | Oregon Trail, | Palm Tree, Nassau by Albert Bierstadt | Sunset in the Rockies | Western_Trail_the_Rockies |
Related Artists:John Longstaff
Australian war artist, 1862-1941Volterrano
Italian Baroque Era Painter, 1611-ca.1690Felix Ziem
French Painter, 1821-1911
was a French painter in the style of the Barbizon School. Born Felix-Francois Georges Philibert Ziem in Beaune in the Côte d'Or departement of the Burgundy region of France, his mother was a native of Burgundy who married a Croatian immigrant. Originally, Ziem planned to be an architect and studied at the School of Architecture in Dijon, and for a time worked as an architect. Painting developed from a hobby to a career following an 1841 visit to Italy where he fell in love with the city of Venice, a place that would become the source for many of his works. Apart from Venetian scenes, he also painted many still lifes, portraits and landscapes from a variety of places including Constantinople, Martigues, Cagnes-sur-Mer and his native Burgundy. Ziem's works were first exhibited in 1849 at the Paris Salon and remained a regular exhibitor there for many years. Part of the Barbizon school, he also traveled extensively throughout Europe and in 1860 moved to Montmartre, the artistic quarter of the city of Paris. Financially successful, he was known to assist struggling young artists. In 1857, the government of France recognized his contribution to the art world by making him a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.