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 :. | Sunset Over a Mountain Lake | Cathedral Rock, Yosemite Valley, California | The_Plains_Near_Fort_Laramie | Fishing Boats at Capri | Between the mountains of the Sierra Nevada in Californie |
Related Artists:RUYSDAEL, Salomon van
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, ca.1600-1670.
Dutch painter. He is best known for his atmospheric, almost monochromatic, river scenes, painted in the 1630s during the 'tonal phase' of Dutch art. His work in this genre is very close in style to that of Jan van Goyen, and their paintings have often been confused.WYNANTS, Jan
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, ca.1630-1684COURTOIS, Jacques
French Baroque Era Painter, 1621-1676
was a French painter. He was born at Saint-Hippolyte, near Besançon. His father was a painter, and with him Jacques remained studying up to the age of fifteen. Towards 1637 he went to Italy, was received at Milan by a Burgundian gentleman, and entered, and for three years remained in the French military service. The sight of some battle-pictures revived his taste for fine art. He went to Bologna, and studied under the friendly tutelage of Guido Reni; thence he proceeded to Rome, where he painted, in the Cistercian monastery, the "Miracle of the Loaves." Here he took a house and after a while entered upon his own characteristic style of art, that of battle-painting, in which he has been accounted to excel all other old masters; his merits were cordially recognized by the celebrated Cerquozzi, named Michelangelo delle Battaglie. He soon rose from penury to ease, and married a painter's daughter, Maria Vagini; she died after seven years of wedded life. Prince Matthias of Tuscany employed Courtois on some striking works in his villa, Lappeggio, representing with much historical accuracy the princes military exploits. In Venice also the artist executed for the senator Sagredo some remarkable battle-pieces. In Florence he entered the Society of Jesus, taking the habit in Rome in 1655; it was calumniously rumoured that he adopted this course in order to escape punishment for having poisoned his wife. As a Jesuit Brother, Courtois painted many works in churches and monasteries of the society. He lived piously in Rome, and died there of apoplexy on 20 May 1676 (some accounts say 1670 or 1671). His battle-pieces have movement and fire, warm colouring (now too often blackened), and great command of the brush, those of moderate dimensions are the more esteemed. They are slight in execution, and tell out best from a distance.