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 :. | Storm in the Rocky Mountains | The Golden Gate | Passing Storm over the Sierra Nevada | Butterfly | Sierra Nevada Morning |
Related Artists:Nancy Fay
American , 1893-1930
John Hoppner Galleries
John Hoppner (April 4?, 1758 - January 23, 1810), English portrait-painter, was born in Whitechapel.
His father was of German extraction, and his mother was one of the German attendants at the royal palace. Hoppner was consequently brought early under the notice and received the patronage of George III, whose regard for him gave rise to unfounded scandal. As a boy he was a chorister at the royal chapel, but showing strong inclination for art, he in 1775 entered as a student at the Royal Academy. In 1778 he took a silver medal for drawing from the life, and in 1782 the Academy's highest award, the gold medal for historical painting, his subject being King Lear.
He first exhibited at the Royal Academy In 1780. His earliest love was for landscape, but necessity obliged him to turn to the more lucrative business of portrait painting. At once successful, he had throughout life the most fashionable and wealthy sitters, and was the greatest rival of the growing attraction of Lawrence. Ideal subjects were very rarely at tempted by Hoppner, though a "Sleeping Venus," "Belisarius," "Jupiter and Io," a "Bacchante" and "Cupid and Psyche" are mentioned among his works. The prince of Wales visited him especially often, and many of his finest portraits are in the state apartments at St. James's Palace, the best perhaps being those of the prince, the duke and duchess of York, of Lord Rodney and of Lord Nelson, Among his other sitters were Sir Walter Scott, the Duke of Wellington, Frere and Sir George Beaumont.
Competent judges have deemed his most successful works to be his portraits of women and children. A Series of Portraits of Ladies was published by him in 1803, and a volume of translations of Eastern tales into English verse in 1805. The verse is of but mediocre quality. In his later years Hoppner suffered from a chronic disease of the liver. He was confessedly an imitator of Reynolds. When first painted, his works were much admired for the brilliancy and harmony of their colouring, but the injury due to destructive mediums and lapse of time which many of them suffered caused a great depreciation in his reputation. The appearance, however, of some of his pictures in good condition has shown that his fame as a brilliant colourist was well founded. His drawing is faulty, but his touch has qualities of breadth and freedom that give to his paintings a faint reflection of the charm of Reynolds. Hoppner was a man of great social power, and had the knowledge and accomplishments of a man of the world.
The best account of Hoppner's life and paintings is the exhaustive work by William McKay and W Roberts (1909Abu l Faraj al Isfahani