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 :. | Nevada Falls | The Island | Multnomah Falls | The Rocky Mountains, Lander's Peak | Sunset over a Mountain Lake |
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Tuscany ca.1350 Jan Matejko
Polish Painter, 1838-1893
He studied from 1852 to 1858 at the School of Fine Arts in Krakew and, during this time, started exhibiting historical paintings with the Society of Friends of the Fine Arts there (e.g. Sigismund I Bestowing Nobility on the Professors of the University of Krakew in 1535 (1858; Krakew, Jagiellonian U., Mus. F.A.). After studying in Munich (1859) under the history painter Hermann Anschetz (1802-80) and then briefly and less successfully in Vienna, Matejko returned to Krak?w, where he was based for the rest of his life. In 1860 Matejko issued an illustrated album, Ubiory w Polsce (later editions 1875 and 1901), a project reflecting his intense interest in historical records of all kinds and his desire to promote such interest among the Polish people in an effort to intensify their patriotic feelings. This role first became widely associated with Matejko with his painting of Stanczyk (1862; Warsaw, N. Mus.), the court jester to King Sigismund I (1437-1548), to whom Matejko gave his own features. The jester is presented as a symbol of the nation's conscienceHone, Nathaniel
Irish Painter, 1718-1784