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 :. | Bay of Monterey, California | Capri | Home of the Rainbow, Horseshoe Falls, Niagara | Campfire Site, Yosemite | Valley of the Yosemite |
Related Artists:Alphonse Asselbergs
Belgian, 1839-1916John Evan Hodgson
painted The french naturalist in Algiers 1879Jan van der Heyden
Jan Van Der Heyden Gallery
Van der Heyden grew up in Gorcum, but the family moved to Amsterdam around 1650. They lived on Dam Square. As a young guy he witnessed the fire in the old townhall which made a deep impression on him. He later would describe or draw 80 fires in almost any neighborhood of Amsterdam. When he married in 1661 the family was living on Herengracht, the most fashionable canal in Amsterdam. In 1668 Cosimo II de' Medici bought one of his paintings, a view of the townhall with a manipulated perspective. Van der Heyden often painted country estates, like Goudestein, owned by Joan Huydecoper II. He was not good in drawing figures and used for his paintings a metal plate for bricks, a sponge or moss for the leaves. Johannes Lingelbach, Adriaen van de Velde und Eglon van der Neer assisted him drawing the figures. Jan van der Heyden also introduced the lamp post and in 1672 impoved the design of the fire engine. He died in wealth as the superintendent of the lighting and director of the (voluntary) firemen's guild at Amsterdam.
Van der Heyden was a contemporary of the landscape painters Hobbema and Jacob van Ruisdael, with the advantage, which they lacked, of a certain professional versatility; for, whilst they painted admirable pictures and starved, he varied the practice of art with the study of mechanics. Until 1672 he painted in partnership with Adriaen van de Velde. After Adrian's death, and probably because of the loss which that event entailed upon him, he accepted the offices to which allusion has just been made. At no period of artistic activity had the system of division of labour been more fully or more constantly applied to art than it was in Holland towards the close of the 17th century.
Van der Heyden, who was perfect as an architectural draughtsman insofar as he painted the outside of buildings and thoroughly mastered linear perspective, seldom turned his hand to the delineation of anything but brick houses and churches in streets and squares, or rows along canals, or "moated granges," common in his native country.
He was a travelled man, had seen The Hague, Ghent and Brussels, and had ascended the Rhine past Xanten to Cologne, where he copied over and over again the tower and crane of the great cathedral. But he cared nothing for hill or vale, or stream or wood. He could reproduce the rows of bricks in a square of Dutch houses sparkling in the sun, or stunted trees and lines of dwellings varied by steeples, all in light or thrown into passing shadow by moving cloud.
He had the art of painting microscopically without loss of breadth or keeping. But he could draw neither man nor beast, nor ships nor carts; and this was his disadvantage. His good genius under these circumstances was Adrian van der Velde, who enlivened his compositions with spirited figures; and the joint labour of both is a delicate, minute, transparent work, radiant with glow and atmosphere.