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 :. | Tropical Landscape with Fishing Boats in Bay | Last of the Buffalo | Yellowstone Falls | Fishing Boats at Capri | The Matterhorn |
Related Artists:Brun, Charles Le
French Baroque Era Painter, 1619-1690
French painter and designer. He dominated 17th-century French painting as no other artist; it was not until over a century later, during the predominance of Jacques-Louis David, that artistic authority was again so concentrated in one man. Under the protection of a succession of important political figures, including Chancellor Pierre S?guier, Cardinal Richelieu and Nicolas Fouquet, Le Brun created a series of masterpieces of history and religious painting. For Louis XIV and his chief minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert he executed his greatest work, the royal palace of Versailles: an almost perfect ensemble of architecture, decoration and landscape. After Colbert's death in 1683, he was no longer able to count on prestigious commissionsGeorge Flegel
Willem Kalf Galleries
Willem Kalf was born in Rotterdam, in 1619. He was previously thought to have been born in 1622, but H. E. van Gelder??s important archival research has established the painter??s correct place and date of birth. Kalf was born into a prosperous patrician family in Rotterdam, where his father, a cloth merchant, held municipal posts as well. In the late 1630s, Willem Kalf travelled to Paris and spent time in the circle of the Flemish artists in Saint-Germain-des-Pr??s, Paris. In Paris he painted mainly small-scale rustic interiors and still-lifes. Kalf??s rustic interiors are typically dominated by groups of vegetables, buckets, pots and pans, which he arranged as a still-life in the foreground (e.g. Kitchen Still-life, Dresden, Gemäldegal; Alte Meister). Figures usually appeared only in the blurred obscurity of the background. Though painted in Paris, those pictures belong to a pictorial tradition practised primarily in Flanders in the early 17th century, by such artists as David Teniers the Younger. The only indication of the French origin of the paintings are a few objects that Flemish exponents of the same genre would not have pictured in their works. Kalf??s rustic interiors had a large influence on French art in the circle of the Le Nain brothers. The semi-monochrome still-lifes which Kalf created in Paris form a link to the banketjes or 'little banquet pieces' painted by such Dutch artists as Pieter Claesz, Willem Claeszoon Heda and others in the 1630s. During the 1640s, Kalf further developed the banketje into a novel form of sumptuous and ornate still-life (known as pronkstilleven), depicting rich groupings of gold and silver vessels. Like other still-lifes of this period, these paintings were usually expressing vanitas allegories.