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 :. | Bavarian_Landscape | Westfallische Landschaft | Approaching Thunderstorm on the Hudson River | Yellowstone Falls | Grizzly bears |
Related Artists:Hiram Powers
American Neoclassical Sculptor, 1805-1873, American sculptor. He grew up in Cincinnati, OH, and his career as a sculptor began when he created animated wax figures for a tableau of Dante's Inferno at Dorfeuille's Western Museum in Cincinnati, where he was supervisor of the mechanical department. He learnt to model clay and make plaster casts from Frederick Eckstein (c. 1775-1852). The portrait busts he created of his friends attracted the attention of the wealthy Nicholas Longworth, who financed trips for Powers to New York in 1829 and to Washington, DC, in 1834, when he sculpted President Andrew Jackson (marble, c. 1835; New York, Met.). Powers's strikingly lifelike bust, classicized only by the drapery, brought him commissions from other Washington luminaries, including John Marshall (marble, 1835; Washington, DC, US Capitol), Martin van Buren (marble, 1837; New York, NY Hist. Soc.) Guido da Siena
Italian Byzantine Style Painter, 13th Century
He may have made significant advances in the techniques of painting, much as Cimabue much later accomplished. However, there is some debate about this. Guido is primarily known for a painting which is now split into several pieces. The church of S. Domenico in Siena contains a large painting of the Virgin and Child Enthroned with six angels above. The Benedictine convent of the same city has a triangular pinnacle representing the Saviour in benediction, with two angels. This was once a portion of the same composition, which was originally a triptych. The principal section of this picture has a rhymed Latin inscription, giving the painter's name as Guido de Senis, with the date 1221. However, this may not be genuine, and the date may really read as 1281. There is nothing particular to distinguish this painting from other work of the same period except that the heads of the Virgin and Child are much superior ?C in natural character and graceful dignity ?C to anything painted before Cimabue. As a result, there is some dispute as to whether these heads are really the work of a man who painted in 1221, long before Cimabue. Crowe and Cavalcaselle have proposed that the heads were repainted in the 14th century, perhaps by Ugolino da Siena. If Crowe and Cavalcaselle are right, Cimabue maintains his claim to the advancement of the art. Beyond this, little is known of Guido da Siena. A picture in the Academy of Siena is attributed to him (a half-figure of the Virgin and Child, with two angels), which dates (probably) between 1250 and 1300. Nandkishor Soni