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 :. | Niagara | Home of the Rainbow, Horseshoe Falls, Niagara | Yosemite Valley | The Rocky Mountains, Landers Peak | Storm in the Rocky Mountains, Mt Rosalie |
Related Artists:Pieter Saenredam
b. 1597, Assendelft, d. 1665, Haarlem,Painter and draughtsman, son of Jan Saenredam. His paintings of churches and the old town halls in Haarlem, Utrecht and Amsterdam must have been appreciated by contemporary viewers principally as faithful representations of familiar and meaningful monuments. Yet they also reveal his exceptional sensitivity to aesthetic values; his paintings embody the most discriminating considerations of composition, colouring and craftsmanship. His oeuvre is comparatively small, the paintings numbering no more than 60, and each is obviously the product of careful calculation and many weeks of work. Their most striking features, unusual in the genre, are their light, closely valued tonalities and their restrained, restful and delicately balanced compositions. These pictures, always executed on smooth panels, are remarkable for their sense of harmony and, in some instances, serenity. Here, perhaps, lies a trace of filial fidelity to the Mannerist tradition of refinement and elegance, of lines never lacking in precision and grace. But Mannerist figures and the more comparable components of strap- and scrollwork embellishment lack the tension and clarity of Saenredam's designs, which also have a completeness reminiscent of the fugues of Gerrit Sweelinck (1566-?1628). Raffaele Giannetti
Italian Academic Painter, 1832-1916Octavius Oakley
was a Victorian watercolourist. Oakley initially worked for a cloth manufacturer near Leeds in Yorkshire. He developed into a specialist of portraits in watercolour and enjoyed the patronage of the Duke of Devonshire. From living in Derby where he depicted rustic scenes, he moved to Leamington Spa in Warwickshire in 1836, but returned to London in the 1840s and worked there until his death, producing paintings of street scenes and gypsies and their lifestyle. His emphasis on gypsy paintings which he exhibited at the Royal Watercolour Society earned him the name 'Gypsy Oakley'. Oakley met Thomas Baker in Leamington Spa where Baker was living and working and in 1841