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 :. | Mariposa Indian Encampment, Yosemite Valley, California | Sunset, Deer and River | Thunderstorm in the Rocky Mountains | Yosemite Valley | Cathedral Rock, Yosemite Valley, California |
Related Artists:Tommaso Minardi
Italian painter, draughtsman, teacher and theorist. He studied drawing with the engraver Giuseppe Zauli (1763-1822) who imbued Minardi with his enthusiasm for 15th-century Italian art and introduced him to his large collection of engravings after the work of Flemish artists such as Adriaen van Ostade. However, Minardi was strongly influenced by the Neo-classical painter Felice Giani, who ran a large workshop in Faenza, and whose frescoes of mythological scenes (1804-5) at the Palazzo Milzetti he saw being painted. In 1803 he went to Rome on an annual stipend provided by Count Virgilio Cavina of Faenza (1731-1808), and he received (1803-8) additional financial assistance from the Congregazione di S Gregorio. He was given the use of Giani's studio and through him met Vincenzo Camuccini who, with Canova, dominated the artistic establishment in Rome at that time. Although Minardi learnt the precepts of Neo-classicism from Camuccini, he did not share his interest in heroic art. His first works done in Rome show his interest in the theme of master and acolyte. In Socrates and Alcibiades (1807; Faenza, Pin. Com.), for example, he has included himself among a group of elderly philosophers and young students who are placed on either side of a portrait bust of Zauli. He sent this drawing to his patrons, the Congregazione di S Gregorio, no doubt to reassure them of his aptitude and moral correctness. Supper at Emmaus (c. 1807; Faenza, Pin. Com.) was another painting destined for the same patrons. The confined pictorial space, with a single source of light entering through a small window, and the casual poses of the figures are reminiscent of Flemish art and of the works of the northern Caravaggisti, familiar to the artist through engravings. Richard Jack
Karl Kaspar Pitz
painted Portrait of a cleric a book in his right hand, by a marble bust in before 1795