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 :. | Sierra_Nevada_aka_From_the_Head_of_the_Carson_River, California | Seal Rock | the conflagration | San Francisco Bay | Albert Bierstadt's art |
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Flemish Baroque Era Painter, 1599-1641Gioacchino Toma
Italian , Galatina 1836 - Napoli 1891
Italian painter. He was orphaned at the age of six and spent an unhappy childhood and adolescence in convents and poorhouses; these experiences would later provide subjects for his paintings. He was first taught drawing at the art school in the hospice for the poor in the Adriatic town of Giovinazzo, but in 1855 he moved to Naples, where he worked for an ornamental painter named Alessandro Fergola. In 1857 he was mistakenly arrested for conspiracy and exiled to Piedimonte d'Alife, 60 km from Naples, where he was initiated into the secret society of the Carbonari by some local liberal aristocrats who also became his first patrons. His paintings for them were mainly still-lifes, largely in the traditional Neapolitan style. On his return to Naples in 1858 he became a student at the Accademia di Belle Arti, attending the classes of Domenico Morelli, who influenced such early works as Erminia (1859; Naples, Pal. Reale). Toma fought for two years with Garibaldi in the campaign for the unification of Italy, then returned to painting,