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 :. | Ferns_and_Rocks_on_an_Embankment | Street in Nassau | Hetch Hetchy Canyon | View of the Parliament Buildings from the Grounds of Rideau Halls | The Old Mill |
Related Artists:Andrea Sacchi
Andrea Sacchi Gallery
As a young man, Sacchi had worked under Cortona in Castel Fusano (1627-1629). But in a set of public debates later developed in the Roman Artist's Guild, Accademia di San Luca, he strongly criticized Cortona's exuberance. In particular, Sacchi advocated that since a unique, individual expression needs to be assigned to each figure in a composition, a painting should not consist of more than about ten figures. In a crowded composition, the figures would be deprived of individuality, and thus cloud the particular meaning of the piece. In some ways this is a reaction against the zealous excess of crowds in paintings by men such as Zuccari of the prior generation, and by Cortona among his contemporaries. Simplicity and unity were essential to Sacchi. Cortona argued that large paintings were more like an epic, that could avail themselves of multiple subplots. The encrustation of a painting with excess decorative details, including melees of crowds, would represent "wall-paper" art rather than focused narrative. Among the partisan's of Sacchi's argument for simplicity and focus were his friends, the sculptor Algardi and painter Poussin.
The controversy was however less pitched than some suggest, and also involved the dissatisfaction that Sacchi and Albani, among others, shared regarding the artistic depiction of low or genre subjects and themes, such as preferred by the Bamboccianti and even the Caravaggisti. They felt that high art should focus on exalted themes- biblical, mythologic, or from classic history.
Sacchi, who worked almost always in Rome, left few pictures visible in private galleries. He had a flourishing school: Poussin and Carlo Maratta were younger collaborators or pupils. In Maratta's large studio, Sacchi's preference for grand manner style would find pre-eminence among Roman circles for decades to follow. But many others worked under him or his influence including Luigi Garzi, Francesco Lauri, Andrea Camassei and Giacinto Gimignani. Sacchi's own illegitimate son Giuseppe, died young after giving very high hopes.
Sacchi died at Nettuno in 1661.Christian-Bernard Rode