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 :. | Men in Two Canoes | Staubbach Falls, Near Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland | View of the Hudson Looking Across the Tappan Zee-Towards Hook Mountain | San Francisco Bay | The Mountain Brook |
Related Artists:Makart, Hans
Austrian Academic Painter, 1840-1884
Austrian painter. He studied (1860-65) at the Akademie in Munich under the history painter Karl Theodor von Piloty whose influence is evident in Makart's Death of Pappenheim (1861; Vienna, Hist. Mus.). Makart visited London and Paris in 1862 and Rome in 1863. The Papal Election (1863-5; Munich, Neue Pin.) reveals Makart's skill in the bold use of colour to convey drama as well as his virtuoso draughtsmanship. Two decorative triptychs, Modern Cupids (1868; Vienna, Zentsparkasse), and the Plague in Florence (1868; Schweinfurt, Samml. Schefer), brought Makart both fame and disapproval (mostly because they lacked a literary original) when exhibited in Munich in 1868. His plan for the second work Edwin Douglas
Neeffs, Peter the Elder
Flemish, Approx. 1578-1661