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 :. | Cathedral Rocks, A Yosemite View | Indian Scout | Surveyor's Wagon in the Rockies | Canoes | Alaskan Coastal Range |
Related Artists:BARTOLOMEO VENETO
Italian Painter, ca.1470-1531
Italian painter. He worked in Venice, the Veneto and Lombardy in the early decades of the 16th century. Knowledge of him is based largely on the signatures, dates and inscriptions on his works. His early paintings are small devotional pictures; later he became a fashionable portraitist. His earliest dated painting, a Virgin and Child (1502; Venice, priv. col., see Berenson, i, pl. 537), is signed 'Bartolomeo half-Venetian and half-Cremonese'. The inscription probably refers to his parentage, but it also suggests the eclectic nature of his development. This painting is clearly dependent on similar works by Giovanni Bellini and his workshop, but in a slightly later Virgin and Child (1505; Bergamo, Gal. Accad. Cararra) the sharp modelling of the Virgin's headdress and the insistent linear accents in the landscape indicate Bartolomeo's early divergence from Giovanni's depiction of light and space. An inscription on his Virgin and Child of 1510 (Milan, Ercolani Col.) states that he was a pupil of Gentile Bellini, an assertion supported by the tightness and flatness of his early style. The influence of Giovanni is still apparent in the composition of the Circumcision (1506; Paris, Louvre), although the persistent stress on surface patterns and the linear treatment of drapery and outline is closer to Gentile. Bartolomeo's experience as a painter at the Este court in Ferrara (1505-8) probably encouraged the decorative emphasis of his style. In the half-length Portrait of a Man (c. 1510; Cambridge, Fitzwilliam) the flattened form of the fashionably dressed sitter is picked out against a deep red curtain so that the impression of material richness extends across the entire picture surface.Homer Watson
Canadian Painter, 1855-1936
Canadian painter. The son of a mill-owner, he was born in a region of rural southern Ontario, which he painted throughout his life. In 1874 he moved to Toronto to work at the Notman Photographic Studios; he also spent many hours copying paintings in the Toronto Normal School in order to improve his technique. In 1876 he visited New York, where he was impressed with the carefully composed paintings of the Hudson River school and the rural scenes of George Inness, who encouraged Watson to pursue his career. The following year he returned to Doon to work up his New York sketches into finished paintings. A work of this early period, Landscape with River (1878; Toronto, A.G. Ont.),Edwin Austin Abbey
Edwin Austin Abbey Gallery
Edwin Austin Abbey (April 1, 1852 ?C August 1, 1911) was an American artist, illustrator, and painter. He flourished at the beginning of what is now referred to as the "golden age" of illustration, and is best known for his drawings and paintings of Shakespearean and Victorian subjects. His most famous work, The Quest of the Holy Grail, resides in the Boston Public Library.
Abbey was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1852. He studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts under Christian Schuessele. Abbey began as an illustrator, producing numerous illustrations and sketches for such magazines as Harper's Weekly and Scribner's Magazine. His illustrations began appearing in Harper's Weekly at an early age: before Abbey was twenty years old. Abbey was an illustrator with Harper's Weekly from 1871-1874. He moved to England in 1878 where he was made a full member of the Royal Academy in 1898. In 1902 he was chosen to paint the coronation of King Edward VII. It was the official painting of the occasion and, hence, resides at Buckingham Palace. In 1907 he declined an offer of knighthood in order to retain his U.S. citizenship. Friendly with other expatriate American artists, he summered at Broadway, Worcestershire, England, where he painted and vacationed alongside John Singer Sargent at the home of Francis Davis Millet.
He completed murals for the Boston Public Library in the 1890s. The frieze for the Library was titled "The Quest for the Holy Grail." It took Abbey eleven years to complete this series of murals in his England studio. In 1908-1909, Abbey painted a number of murals and other artworks for the rotunda of the new Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. His works in that building include allegorical medallions representing Science, Art, Justice, and Religion in the Capitol Rotunda, large lunette murals underneath the Capitol dome, and a number of works in the House Chamber. Unfortunately, Abbey became ill with cancer in 1911 slowing his work. At the time, he was working on the "Reading of the Declaration of Independence Mural" which was later installed in the House Chamber. Abbey was so ill, that his studio assistant, Ernest Board completed the work with little supervision from Abbey. Later in 1911, Abbey died, leaving his commission for the State Capitol of Pennsylvania unfinished. John Singer Sargent, a friend and neighbor of Abbey, and studio assistant Board completed the "Reading of the Declaration of Independence Mural." Abbey's works were installed in the Rotunda and House Chamber. Two rooms from Abbey's commission were left undone, and the remainder of the commission was given to Violet Oakley. Oakley completed the works from start to finish using her own designs.
Abbey was elected to the National Academy of Design and The American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1937 Yale University became the home for a sizable collection of Abbey's works, the result of a bequest from Abbey's widow.