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 :. | Wooded Landscape | Albert Bierstadt Conway Meadows New Hampshire | Autumn in America, Oneida County, New York | Sunset, Deer and River | Sacramento River Valley |
Related Artists:Alfred Sacheverell Coke
British-born Australian Painter, ca.1814-1883John Smart
English Rococo Era Miniaturist, ca.1741-1811,English miniature painter, was born in Norfolk; he became a pupil of Cosway, and is frequently alluded to in his correspondence.
This artist was director and vice-president of the Incorporated Society of Artists, and exhibited with that society. He went to India in 1788 and obtained a number of commissions in that country. He settled down in London in 1797 and there died. He married Edith Vere, and is believed to have had only one son, who died in Madras in 1809.
He was a man of simple habits, and a member of the Society of Sandemanians. Many of his pencil drawings still exist in the possession of the descendants of a great friend of his only sister. Several of his miniatures are in Australia and belong to a cadet branch of the family.
His work is entirely different from that of Cosway, quiet and grey in its colouring, with the flesh tints elaborated with much subtlety and modelled in exquisite fashion. He possessed a great knowledge of anatomy, and his portraits are drawn with greater anatomical accuracy and possess more distinction than those of any miniature painter of his time.