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 :. | Estes Park | Campfire Site, Yosemite | Attack on a Picket Post | Beach Scene | The Wolf River |
Related Artists:Vital Jean De Gronckel
Vital Jean de Gronckel (1820 - 1890, Belgian)Arthur William Devis
(10 August 1762 - 11 February 1822) was an English painter of history paintings and portraits. He was appointed draughtsman in a voyage projected by the East India Company in 1783, under Captain Henry Wilson, in which he was wrecked on the Pelew Islands before proceeding to Canton and thence to Bengal. He painted portraits and historical subjects, sixty-five of which he exhibited (1779-1821) at the Royal Academy.
Carl Rahl, sometimes spelled Karl Rahl (13 August 1812 - 9 July 1865), was an Austrian painter.
Rahl was born in Vienna to Carl Heinrich Rahl (1779 - 1843), an engraver. He attended the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and won a prize at the age of 19. From there he traveled to Munich, Stuttgart, Hungary, and in 1836 to Italy. He remained in Italy from 1836 to 1843, where he in particular studied representatives of the Venetian and Roman schools of art, and painted die Auffindung von Manfreds Leiche (1836).
Rahl's style, especially his views on color and perspective, were largely formed during his years in Rome. He returned after 1843 to Vienna for two years, and then led an itinerant life for the next five years, traveling through Holstein, Paris, Rome, Copenhagen, and Munich, making a living as a portrait painter. In this period he painted Manfreds Einzug in Luceria (1846), and die Christenverfolgung in den Katakomben.
In 1850, he was appointed professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, but for political reasons he was soon dismissed from the position. He then opened a private art school, which expanded quickly into a studio that produced monumental-scale paintings and enjoyed considerable success. He was commissioned by Greek philanthropist Simon Sinas to paint a number of works for the facade and vestibule of Vienna's Fleischmarkt Greek Church (Ludwig Thiersch being commissioned for the remainder of the frescoes), which was then being rebuilt by architect Theophil Freiherr von Hansen. In addition, Sinas commissioned four paintings depicting heroes of the Greek War of Independence, and a further four paintings to decorate his residence.
Rahl decorated the Heinrichshof in 1861 with personifications of Art, Friendship, and Culture, and the Palais Todesco with representations from the mythology of Paris. In 1864, he painted a number of allegorical figures in the stairway of the Waffenmuseum (now part of the Kunsthistorisches Museum). In this period he also painted several frescoes: Mädchen aus der Fremde (in a villa of Gmunden), a composition for a ballroom of a palace in Oldenburg, and a cycle from the tale of the Argonauts. Also, he painted the tympanum of the Athens Academy building, designed by Theophil von Hansen in 1859 and executed by Ernst Ziller (completed in 1885), and paintings in the portico of the Athens university, designed by Christian Hansen (Theophil Hansen's son). The central painting show Bavarian king Otto I surrounded by the Muses; the left hand fresco shows Prometheus bringing fire down from Mount Olympus.