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 | Valley of the Yosemite | Italian Lake Scene | Sunset in the Rockies | Tyrolean Landscape |
Related Artists:John James Audubon
Audubon, John James ~ Bobwhite (Virginia Partridge), 1825Audubon developed his own methods for drawing birds. First, he killed them using fine shot to prevent them from being torn to pieces. He then used fixed wires to prop them up into a natural position, unlike the common method of many ornithologists of first preparing and stuffing the specimens into a rigid pose. When working on a major specimen, like an eagle, he would spend up to four 15 hour days, preparing, studying, and drawing it. His paintings of birds are set true-to-life in their natural habitat and often caught them in motion, especially feeding or hunting. This was in stark contrast with the stiff representations of birds by his contemporaries, such as Alexander Wilson. He also based his paintings on his own field observations.
He worked primarily with watercolor early on, then added colored chalk or pastel to add softness to feathers, especially those of owls and herons. He would employ multiple layers of watercoloring, and sometimes use gouache. Small species were often drawn to scale, placed on branches with berries, fruit, and flowers, sometimes in flight, and often with many individual birds to present all views of anatomy. Larger birds were often placed in their ground habitat or perching on stumps. At times, as with woodpeckers, he would combine several species on one page to offer contrasting features. Nests and eggs are frequently depicted as well, and occasionally predators, such as snakes. He usually illustrated male and female variations, and sometimes juveniles. In later drawings, he had aides render the habitat for him. Going behind faithful renderings of anatomy, Audubon employed carefully constructed composition, drama, and slightly exaggerated poses to achieve artistic as well as scientific effects.Sophie anderson
was a French-born British artist who specialised in genre painting of children and women, typically in rural settings. Her work is loosely associated with the Pre-Raphaelite movement. She was the daughter of Charles Gengembre, a Parisian architect, and his English wife. She was largely self-taught, but briefly studied portraiture with Charles de Steuben in Paris in 1843. The family left France for the United States to escape the 1848 revolution, They first lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, then in Manchester, Pennsylvania, where she met and married the British genre artist Walter Anderson. She initially worked in portraiture, including work for the chromolithographers Louis Prang & Co.. In 1854 the Andersons moved to London, where she exhibited her works in the Royal Academy. They returned to New York in 1858, then finally settled in London around 1863. Over the next three decades, her work was widely shown at venues including the Royal Academy, the Society of British Artists and many regional galleries.LEONARDO da Vinci
Italian High Renaissance Painter and Inventor, 1452-1519
Italian High Renaissance Painter and Inventor, 1452-1519 Florentine Renaissance man, genius, artist in all media, architect, military engineer. Possibly the most brilliantly creative man in European history, he advertised himself, first of all, as a military engineer. In a famous letter dated about 1481 to Ludovico Sforza, of which a copy survives in the Codice Atlantico in Milan, Leonardo asks for employment in that capacity. He had plans for bridges, very light and strong, and plans for destroying those of the enemy. He knew how to cut off water to besieged fortifications, and how to construct bridges, mantlets, scaling ladders, and other instruments. He designed cannon, very convenient and easy of transport, designed to fire small stones, almost in the manner of hail??grape- or case-shot (see ammunition, artillery). He offered cannon of very beautiful and useful shapes, quite different from those in common use and, where it is not possible to employ cannon ?? catapults, mangonels and trabocchi and other engines of wonderful efficacy not in general use. And he said he made armoured cars, safe and unassailable, which will enter the serried ranks of the enemy with their artillery ?? and behind them the infantry will be able to follow quite unharmed, and without any opposition. He also offered to design ships which can resist the fire of all the heaviest cannon, and powder and smoke. The large number of surviving drawings and notes on military art show that Leonardo claims were not without foundation, although most date from after the Sforza letter. Most of the drawings, including giant crossbows (see bows), appear to be improvements on existing machines rather than new inventions. One exception is the drawing of a tank dating from 1485-8 now in the British Museum??a flattened cone, propelled from inside by crankshafts, firing guns. Another design in the British Museum, for a machine with scythes revolving in the horizontal plane, dismembering bodies as it goes, is gruesomely fanciful. Most of the other drawings are in the Codice Atlantico in Milan but some are in the Royal Libraries at Windsor and Turin, in Venice, or the Louvre and the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. Two ingenious machines for continuously firing arrows, machine-gun style, powered by a treadmill are shown in the Codice Atlantico. A number of other sketches of bridges, water pumps, and canals could be for military or civil purposes: dual use technology. Leonardo lived at a time when the first artillery fortifications were appearing and the Codice Atlantico contains sketches of ingenious fortifications combining bastions, round towers, and truncated cones. Models constructed from the drawings and photographed in Calvi works reveal forts which would have looked strikingly modern in the 19th century, and might even feature in science fiction films today. On 18 August 1502 Cesare Borgia appointed Leonardo as his Military Engineer General, although no known building by Leonardo exists. Leonardo was also fascinated by flight. Thirteen pages with drawings for man-powered aeroplanes survive and there is one design for a helicoidal helicopter. Leonardo later realized the inadequacy of the power a man could generate and turned his attention to aerofoils. Had his enormous abilities been concentrated on one thing, he might have invented the modern glider.