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 :. | Mount Corcoran | Indian Summer on the Hudson River | Canadian_Rockies_Asulkan_Glacier | Splendour of the Grand Tetons | Sierra Nevada Morning |
Related Artists:Stefano Magnasco
Italian, born circa Genoa 1635-1665
John Martin Gallery
His first exhibited subject picture, Sadak in Search of the Waters of Oblivion (now in the St. Louis Art Museum), was hung in the Ante-room of the Royal Academy in 1812, and sold for fifty guineas. It was followed by the Expulsion (1813), Paradise (1813), Clytie (1814), and Joshua Commanding the Sun to Stand Still upon Gibeon (1816). In 1821 appeared his Belshazzar's Feast, which excited much favorable and hostile comment, and was awarded a prize of £200 at the British Institution, where the Joshua had previously carried off a premium of £100. Then came the Destruction of Herculaneum (1822), the Creation (1824), the Eve of the Deluge (1841), and a series of other Biblical and imaginative subjects. The Plains of Heaven is thought to reflect his memories of the Allendale of his youth.
Martin's large paintings were inspired by "contemporary dioramas or panoramas, popular entertainments in which large painted cloths were displayed, and animated by the skilful use of artificial light. Martin has often been claimed as a forerunner of the epic cinema, and there is no doubt that the pioneer director D. W. Griffith was aware of his work." In turn, the diorama makers borrowed Martin's work, to the point of plagiarism. A 2000-square-foot version of Belshazzar's Feast was mounted at a facility called the British Diorama in 1833; Martin tried, but failed, to shut down the display with a court order. Another diorama of the same picture was staged in New York City in 1835. These dioramas were tremendous successes with their audiences, but wounded Martin's reputation in the serious art world.Juan Fernandez de Navarrete
was a Spanish Mannerist painter, born at Logroño. An illness in infancy deprived Navarrete of his hearing, but at a very early age he began to express his wants by sketching objects with a piece of charcoal. He received his first instructions in art from Fray Vicente de Santo Domingo, a Hieronymite monk at Estella, and also with Becerra. He visited Naples, Rome, Florence and Milan. Pellegrino Tibaldi met him in Rome in 1550. According to most accounts he was for a considerable time the pupil and assistant of Titian at Venice. In 1568 Philip II of Spain summoned him to Madrid with the title of king's painter and a salary, and employed him to execute pictures for the Escorial. During the 1560s and 1570s the huge monastery-palace of El Escorial was still under construction and Philip II was experiencing difficulties in finding good artists for the many large paintings required to decorate it. Titian was very old, and died in 1576, and Tintoretto, Veronese and Anthonis Mor all refused to come to Spain. Philip had to rely on the lesser talent of Navarrete, whose gravedad y decoro ("seriousness and decorum") the king approved. For eleven years until his death Navarrete worked largely on El Escorial. The most celebrated of the works he produced there are a "Nativity" (in which, as in the well-known work on the same subject by Correggio, the light emanates from the infant Saviour), a "Baptism of Christ" (now Prado), and "Abraham Receiving the Three Angels" (one of his last works, dated 1576).