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 :. | Sunrise, Yosemite Valley | The Rocky Mountains, Lander Peak | The Sierras near Lake Tahoe, California | The Wetterhorn | Sunrise at Glacier Station |
Related Artists:Dario de Regoyos
1857-1913Meckel, Adolf von
German, 1856-1893Robert Frederick Blum
Major figure painter and illustrator
American , 1857-1903
was an American artist born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on the 9th of July 1857. He was employed for a time in a lithographic shop, and studied at the McMicken Art School of Design in Cincinnati, and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, but he was practically self-taught, and early showed great and original talent. He settled in New York in 1879, and his first published sketches of Japanese jugglers appeared in St. Nicholas. His most important work is a large frieze in the Mendelssohn Music Hall, New York, Music and the Dance (1895). His pen-and-ink work for the Century Magazine attracted wide attention, as did his illustrations for Sir Edwin Arnold's Japonica. "Man before grilled entrance"In the country and art of Japan he had been interested for many years. A Daughter of Japan, drawn by Blum and W. J. Baer, was the cover of Scribner's Magazine for May 1893, and was one of the earliest pieces of color printing for an American magazine. In Scribner's for 1893 appeared also his Artist's Letters from Japan. He was an admirer of Fortuny, whose methods somewhat influenced his work. Blum's Venetian pictures, such as A Bright Day at Venice (1882), had lively charm and beauty. He died on the 8th of June 1903 in New York City.