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 :. | Indians Fishing | Der Letzte Buffel | Buffalo Head | In the Forest | Buffalo Country |
Related Artists:CUYP, Aelbert
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, 1620-1691
Painter and draughtsman, son of (1) Jacob Cuyp. One of the most important landscape painters of 17th-century Netherlands, he combined a wide range of sources and influences, most notably in the application of lighting effects derived from Italianate painting to typical Dutch subjects. Such traditional themes as townscapes, winter scenes, cattle pieces and equestrian portraits were stylistically transformed and given new grandeur. Aelbert was virtually unknown outside his native town, and his influence in the 17th century was negligible. Nicola Forcella
Italian, 19th centuryBartholomeus van der Helst
Bartholomeus Van Der Helst Galleries
Dutch painter. He was the son of a Haarlem inn-keeper and presumably undertook part or all of his training in Amsterdam. His earliest works suggest that the painter Nicolaes Eliasz. Pickenoy was his master. Although van der Helst had probably already established himself as an independent master by the time he married Anna du Pire in Amsterdam in 1636, his earliest known work, a portrait of The Regents of the Walloon Orphanage, Amsterdam (Amsterdam, Maison Descartes), dates from 1637. Stylistically it is close to the work of Pickenoy. His portrait of a Protestant Minister of 1638 (Rotterdam, Boymans-van Beuningen) reveals the influence of Rembrandt. The young artist must have risen rapidly to fame in Amsterdam, for as early as 1639 he received the prestigious commission for a large painting for the Kloveniersdoelen (Arquebusiers or Musketeers Hall): The Civic Guard Company of Capt. Roelof Bicker and Lt Jan Michielsz. Blaeuw (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.), which formed part of the same series as Rembrandt Night Watch (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.). Van der Helst may not have completed this commission until 1642 or 1643. The ingenious arrangement of the figures in a broad composition shows the artist special talent for composing large groups. Pickenoy influence is less noticeable here than in the portrait of 1637; the self-assured poses of the individual figures were to become a characteristic feature of van der Helst work. The successful execution of this portrait established van der Helst reputation: from 1642, when he began to receive an increasing number of commissions for individual portraits, until 1670 he was the leading portrait painter of the ruling class in Amsterdam. From 1642 his technique in portrait painting gradually became more fluent and the rendering of costume materials more detailed. Some typical portraits of his earlier period are those of Andries Bicker (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.), his wife Catharina Gansneb Tengnagel (Dresden, Gemeldegal. Alte Meister) and their son Gerard Bicker (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.), all of 1642, and the Portrait of a Young Girl (1645; London, N.G.). In 1648 van der Helst painted a second civic guard portrait, The Celebration of the Peace of M?nster at the Crossbowmen Headquarters, Amsterdam (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.), a superbly composed and well painted portrait that, until the late 19th century, was considered one of the masterpieces of the Golden Age but later lost popularity because of its smooth and modish execution. It can nevertheless still be regarded as one of the most important group portraits of the 17th century. Its technical perfection, characterized by a well-modelled rendering of the figures and a smooth handling of the brush, dominated the rest of van der Helst oeuvre.