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 :. | Greater San Francisco Area (Mountain Glade and Mountain Resort) | California Redwoods | The Oregon Trail | Valley of the Yosemite | California Redwoods |
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Swiss Northern Renaissance Painter, ca.1484-1530
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was a United States painter who specialised in coastal views. Born in Germany, he emigrated to the U.S. and settled in Laguna Beach, California. He was a founding member of the California Water Color Society. Jmw Turner
British landscape painter. The son of a barber, he entered the Royal Academy school in 1789. In 1802 he became a full academician and in 1807 was appointed professor of perspective. His early work was concerned with accurate depictions of places, but he soon learned from Richard Wilson to take a more poetic and imaginative approach. The Shipwreck (1805) shows his new emphasis on luminosity, atmosphere, and Romantic, dramatic subjects. After a trip to Italy in 1819, his colour became purer and more prismatic, with a general heightening of key. In later paintings, such as Sunrise, with a Boat Between Headlands (1845), architectural and natural details are sacrificed to effects of colour and light, with only the barest indication of mass. His compositions became more fluid, suggesting movement and space. In breaking down conventional formulas of representation, he anticipated French Impressionism. His immense reputation in the 19th century was due largely to John Ruskin's enthusiasm for his early works