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 :. | Mountain Lake | Mirror Lake, Yosemite Valley | Cathedral Rock, Yosemite Valley, California | Storm_Among_the_Alps | Looking Down the Yosemite Valley, California |
Related Artists:Charles Lock Eastlake
English Painter, 1793-1865
English painter, museum director, collector and writer. Fourth son of an Admiralty lawyer at Plymouth, he was educated at local grammar schools and then, briefly, at Charterhouse, Surrey. Determined to become a painter, he began work in 1809 as Benjamin Robert Haydon's first pupil and as a student at the Royal Academy Schools in London. In 1815 he exhibited for the first time at the British Institution, visited Paris and studied the pictures in the Musee Napoleon. He achieved his first conspicuous success with a scene from contemporary history that he had himself witnessed, Andrea Vanni
Italian Byzantine Style Painter , ca.1332-1414
was an Italian painter of the early Renaissance. He was born in Siena, and in conjunction with Bartolo di Maestro Fredi, began to paint in 1353. He seems to have been important in Siena, having been elected a member of the Great Council in 1370, Gonfaloniero in 1371, sent as Envoy to the Pope at Avignon in 1372, on a mission to Florence in 1373, and again as Envoy to the Pope at Naples in 1384. Many examples exist of his paintings between 1353 and 1414 in Naples and its vicinity. At the chapel of St. Catherine of Siena, in the church of San Domenico, Naples, can be found the remains of a fresco painted by him to commemorate the life of that saint, who was a correspondent and perhaps a relation of his own. A letter from St. Catherine to Vanni survives. About the year 1400, Jacopo Pontormo
Italian 1494-1557 Jacopo Pontormo Galleries
Italian painter and draughtsman. He was the leading painter in mid-16th-century Florence and one of the most original and extraordinary of Mannerist artists. His eccentric personality, solitary and slow working habits and capricious attitude towards his patrons are described by Vasari; his own diary, which covers the years 1554-6, further reveals a character with neurotic and secretive aspects. Pontormo enjoyed the protection of the Medici family throughout his career but, unlike Agnolo Bronzino and Giorgio Vasari, did not become court painter. His subjective portrait style did not lend itself to the state portrait. He produced few mythological works and after 1540 devoted himself almost exclusively to religious subjects. His drawings, mainly figure studies in red and black chalk, are among the highest expressions of the great Florentine tradition of draughtsmanship; close to 400 survive, forming arguably the most important body of drawings by a Mannerist painter. His highly personal style was much influenced by Michelangelo, though he also drew on northern art, primarily the prints of Albrecht Derer.