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 :. | Storm_Among_the_Alps | A View From Sacramento | Storm in the Rocky Mountains, Mount Rosalie | The Kern River Valley, a montane canyon in the Sierra Nevada, California | Thunderstorm in the Rocky Mountains |
Related Artists:Paula Modersohn-Becker
Paula Becker was born and grew up in Dresden-Friedrichstadt. She was the third child of seven children in her family. Her father who was the son of a Russian university professor, was employed with the German railway. He and Modersohn-Becker's mother, who was from an aristocratic family, provided the children a cultured and intellectual environment in the house hold.
Modersohn-Becker's parental home 1888-1899In 1888 her parents moved from Dresden to Bremen. While visiting an aunt in London, England, she received her first instruction in drawing. Apart from her teacher's training in Bremen in 1893-1895, Paula took private instruction in painting. In 1896 she participated in a course for painting and drawing sponsored by the "Verein der Berliner K??nstlerinnen" (Union of Berlin Female Artists) which offered art studies to women.
Paula Modersohn-Becker. Clara Rilke WesthoffAt the age of 22, she encountered the artistic community of Worpswede. In this "village", artists such as Fritz Mackensen (1866-1953) and Heinrich Vogeler (1872-1942) had retreated to protest against the domination of the art academy and life in the big city. At Worpswede, Paula Modersohn-Becker took painting lessons from Mackensen. The main subjects were the life of the farmers and the northern German landscape. At this time she began close friendships with the sculptor Clara Westhoff (1875-1954) and the poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926). She also fell in love during this period, and in 1901 she married a fellow Worpswede painter, Otto Modersohn. In marrying Otto, she also became a stepmother to Otto's daughter, Elsbeth Modersohn, the child from his first marriage to Helene Modersohn, then deceased.
Paula Modersohn-Becker. Rainer Maria Rilke, 1906Between 1900 and 1907, Paula made several extended trips to Paris for artistic purposes, sometimes living separately from her husband, Otto. During one of her residencies in Paris, she took courses at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. She visited contemporary exhibitions often, and was particularly intrigued with the work of Paul C??zanne. Other post impressionists were especially influential, including Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin. Fauve influences may also appear in such works as Poorhouse Woman with a Glass Bottle. The influence by the work of French painter, Jean-Francois Millet, who was widely admired among the artists in the Worpswede group, may be seen in such pieces as her 1900 Peat Cutters.
Reclining Mother and ChildIn her last trip to Paris in 1906, she produced a body of paintings from which she felt very great excitement and satisfaction. During this period of painting, she produced her initial nude self-portraits (something surely unprecedented by a female painter) and portraits of friends such as Rainer Maria Rilke and Werner Sombart. Some critics consider this period of her art production to be the strongest and most compelling.
Paula with Mathilde, November 1907 (days before Paula's death)In 1907, Paula Modersohn-Becker returned to her husband in Worpswede. Their relationship, which had been particularly strained in 1906, had taken a turn towards improvement. Paula's long-lived wish to conceive and bear a child was fulfilled. Her daughter Mathilde (Tillie) Modersohn was born on November 2, 1907. Paula and Otto were joyous. Sadly, the joy became soon overshadowed by tragedy, as Paula Modersohn-Becker died suddenly in Worpswede on November 20th from an embolism.
In 1908, Rainer Maria Rilke wrote the renowned poem, "Requiem for a Friend", in Paula's memory. The poem was born of the imprint that Paula's life, death and friendship left upon Rilke.Albert Bierdstadt
painted Bernese Alps in 1859Edouard Richter