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 :. | Landscape Study, Yosemite California | Figures_in_a_Hudson_River_Landscape | Men in Two Canoes | Looking up Yosemite Valley | Storm_Among_the_Alps |
Related Artists:Sir John Everett Millais
English Pre-Raphaelite Painter, 1829-1896
Millais showed a prodigious natural facility for drawing, and his parents groomed him from an early age to become an artist. His father was a man of independent means from an old Jersey family. He spent his childhood in Southampton (where his mother's family were prosperous saddlers), Jersey and Dinan in Brittany, before going to London in 1838. After a brief period at Henry Sass's private art school, he was accepted into the Royal Academy Schools in 1840, its youngest-ever student. He won a silver medal there in 1843 for his drawing from the Antique, made his d?but at the Royal Academy exhibition in 1846 with the accomplished though conventional history painting Pizarro Seizing the Inca of Peru (London, V&A) and won a gold medal in 1847 for the Tribe of Benjamin Seizing the Daughters of Shiloh (priv. col., sale cat., London, Sotheby's, 21 Nov 1973, lot 44), Jean Greuze
French painter and draughtsman. He was named an associate member of the Acad?mie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, Paris, in 1755 on the strength of a group of paintings that included genre scenes, portraits and studies of expressive heads (t?tes d'expression). These remained the essential subjects of his art for the next 50 years, except for a brief, concentrated and unsuccessful experiment with history painting in the late 1760s, which was to affect his later genre painting deeply. Though his art has often been compared with that of Jean-Sim?on Chardin in particular and interpreted within the context of NEO-CLASSICISM in general, it stands so strikingly apart from the currents of its time that Greuze's accomplishments are best described, as they often were by the artist's contemporaries, as unique. He was greatly admired by connoisseurs, critics and the general public throughout most of his life. His pictures were in the collections of such noted connoisseurs as Ange-Laurent de La Live de Jully, Claude-Henri Watelet and Etienne-Fran?ois, Duc de Choiseul. For a long period he was in particular favour with the critic Denis Diderot, who wrote about him in the Salon reviews that he published in Melchior Grimm's privately circulated Correspondance litt?raire. His reputation declined towards the end of his life and through the early part of the 19th century, to be revived after 1850,MIERIS, Frans van, the Elder
Dutch painter (b. 1635, Leiden, d. 1681, Leiden).
was a Dutch genre and portrait painter. The leading member of a Leiden family of painters, his sons Jan (1660-1690) and Willem (1662?C1747) and his grandson Frans van Mieris the Younger (1689?C1763) were also accomplished genre painters. Frans was the son of Jan Bastiaans van Mieris, a goldsmith, carver of rubies and diamond setter at Leiden. His father wished to train him to his own business, but Frans preferred drawing, and took service with Abraham Toorenvliet, a glazier who kept a school of design. In his father's shop he became familiar with the ways and dress of people of distinction. His eye was fascinated in turn by the sheen of jewelry and stained glass; and, though he soon gave up the teaching of Toorenvliet for that of Gerard Dou and Abraham van den Tempel, he acquired a manner which had more of the finish of the exquisites of the Dutch school than of the breadth of the disciples of Rembrandt. It should be borne in mind that he seldom chose panels of which the size exceeded 12 to 15 inches, and whenever his name is attached to a picture above that size we may surely assign it to his son Willem or to some other imitator. Unlike Dou when he first left Rembrandt, or Jan Steen when he started on an independent career, Mieris never ventured to design figures as large as life. Characteristic of his art in its minute proportions is a shiny brightness and metallic polish. The subjects which he treated best are those in which he illustrated the habits or actions of the wealthier classes; but he sometimes succeeded in homely incidents and in portrait, and not unfrequently he ventured on allegory. He repeatedly painted the satin skirt which Ter Borch brought into fashion, and he often rivalled Ter Borch in the faithful rendering of rich and highly-coloured woven tissues. But he remained below Ter Borch and Metsu, because he had not their delicate perception of harmony or their charming mellowness of touch and tint, and he fell behind Gerard Dou, because he was hard and had not his feeling for effect by concentrated light and shade. In the form of his composition, which sometimes represents the framework of a window enlivened with greenery, and adorned with bas-reliefs within which figures are seen to the waist, his model is certainly Dou. It is a question whether Houbraken has truly recorded this master's birthday. One of his best-known pieces, a party of ladies and gentlemen at an oyster luncheon, in the Hermitage at St Petersburg, bears the date of 1650. Celebrated alike for composition and finish, it would prove that Mieris had reached his prime at the age of fifteen. Another beautiful example, the "Doctor Feeling a Lady's Pulse" in the gallery of Vienna, is dated 1656; and Waagen, in one of his critical essays, justly observes that it is a remarkable production for a youth of twenty-one. In 1657 Mieris was married at Leiden in the presence of Jan Potheuck, a painter, and this is the earliest written record of his existence on which we can implicitly rely. Of the numerous panels by Mieris, twenty-nine at least are dated--the latest being an allegory, long in the Ruhl collection at Cologne, illustrating what he considered the kindred vices of drinking, smoking and dicing, in the year 1680. Mieris had numerous and distinguished patrons. He received valuable commissions from Archduke Leopold, the elector-palatine, and Cosimo III de' Medici, grand-duke of Tuscany. His practice was large and lucrative, but never engendered in him either carelessness or neglect. If there be a difference between the painter's earlier and later work, it is that the former was clearer and more delicate in flesh, whilst the latter was often darker and more livid in the shadows. When he died his clients naturally went over to his son Willem, who in turn bequeathed his painting-room to his son Frans. But neither Willem nor Frans the younger equalled Frans the elder.