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 :. | Wreck of the Ancon in Loring Bay, Alaska | Passing Storm over the Sierra Nevada | Bridal Veil Falls | Splendour of the Grand Tetons | Sunset Over a Mountain Lake |
Related Artists:Charles Leslie Thrasher
American Artist , 1889-1936
was a German painter, draftsman, printmaker, sculptor, and writer. Although he is usually classified as an Expressionist artist, he rejected both the term and the movement. In the 1920s he was associated with the New Objectivity (Neue Sachlichkeit), an outgrowth of Expressionism that opposed its introverted emotionalism. He was born into a middle-class family in Leipzig, Saxony. From his youth he pitted himself against the old masters. His traumatic experiences of World War I, in which he served as a medic, coincided with a dramatic transformation of his style from academically correct depictions to a distortion of both figure and space, reflecting his altered vision of himself and humanity.He is known for the self-portraits he painted throughout his life, their number and intensity rivalled only by Rembrandt and Picasso. Well-read in philosophy and literature, he also contemplated mysticism and theosophy in search of the "Self". As a true painter-thinker, he strove to find the hidden spiritual dimension in his subjects. (Beckmann's 1948 "Letters to a Woman Painter" provides a statement of his approach to art.) In the Weimar Republic of the Twenties, Beckmann enjoyed great success and official honors. In 1927 he received the Honorary Empire Prize for German Art and the Gold Medal of the City of D??sseldorf; the National Gallery in Berlin acquired his painting The Bark and, in 1928, purchased his Self-Portrait in Tuxedo.In 1925 he was selected to teach a master class at the Städelschule Academy of Fine Art in Frankfurt. Some of his most famous students included Theo Garve, Leo Maillet and Marie-Louise Von Motesiczky. His fortunes changed with the rise to power of Adolf Hitler, whose dislike of Modern Art quickly led to its suppression by the state. In 1933, the Nazi government bizarrely called Beckmann a "cultural Bolshevik"and dismissed him from his teaching position at the Art School in Frankfurt. In 1937 more than 500 of his works were confiscated from German museums, and several of these works were put on display in the notorious Degenerate Art exhibition in Munich.For ten years, Beckmann lived in poverty in self-imposed exile in Amsterdam, failing in his desperate attempts to obtain a visa for the US. In 1944 the Germans attempted to draft him into the army, despite the fact that the sixty-year-old artist had suffered a heart attack. The works completed in his Amsterdam studio were even more powerful and intense than the ones of his master years in Frankfurt, and included several large triptychs, which stand as a summation of Beckmann's art. After the war, Beckmann moved to the United States, and during the last three years of his life, he taught at the art schools of Washington University in St. Louis (with the German-American painter and printmaker Werner Drewes) and the Brooklyn Museum. He suffered from angina pectoris and died after Christmas 1950, struck down by a heart attack in Manhattan.Many of his late paintings are now displayed in American museums. EYCK, Jan van
Flemish Northern Renaissance Painter, ca.1395-1441
Painter and illuminator, brother of Hubert van Eyck. According to a 16th-century Ghent tradition, represented by van Vaernewijck and Lucas d'Heere, Jan trained with his brother Hubert. Pietro Summonte's assertion (1524) that he began work as an illuminator is supported by the fine technique and small scale of most of Jan's works, by manuscript precedents for certain of his motifs, and by his payment in 1439 for initials in a book (untraced) for Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy. Jan is first documented in The Hague in August 1422 as an established artist with an assistant and the title of 'Master', working for John III, Count of Holland (John of Bavaria; reg 1419-25), who evidently discovered the artist while he was bishop (1389-1417) of the principality of Liege.