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 :. | Indians Fishing | Lake Lucerne, Switzerland | View of the Grindelwald | Wharf Scene with Ship at Dock | Mirror Lake, Yosemite Valley |
Related Artists:Artur Timoteo da Costa
Artur Timoteo da Costa Gallery
American painter of Russian-Polish origin. He claimed to have carved wooden ceremonial objects as a young boy, but ceased to create until he retired from his clothing manufacturing concern and began to paint. When Sidney Janis was arranging an exhibition of American folk art for MOMA in 1939, he saw Hirshfield's naive works in a gallery in New York. He exhibited two in the show and organized a one-man show for the artist in 1943; he also purchased two works, including Beach Girl (1937; New York, MOMA). In such paintings Hirshfield based large areas of the overall design on the fabrics with which he worked during his years in business, and his outlined forms on the art of patternmaking. Anna Lea Merritt
American Pre-Raphaelite Painter, 1844-1930
English painter, muralist and printmaker of American birth. She is best known for her Victorian portraits, allegorical and religious paintings, landscapes and floral scenes and was successful in spite of the difficulties that she encountered as a professional woman artist working in Victorian England. After brief artistic tours to Florence, Dresden and Paris, where she studied in L?on Cogniet's atelier, she began intensive instruction in 1870 from Henry Merritt (1822-77), an Englishman who restored works of art from important collections and wrote on art, exhibitions and conservation. Anna Lea and Henry Merritt were married in July 1877; three months later he died. Love Locked out (1889; London, Tate), depicting love at the door of a tomb, was painted as a memorial to her husband.