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 :. | The Catskills | San Francisco Bay | Valley of the Yosemite | Indian_Camp | In the Sierras |
Related Artists:Elisabeth Warling
painted Strandvagen-Stockholm in 1874Thomas Uwins
English Painter, 1782-1857
English painter and illustrator. He was apprenticed to the line-engraver Benjamin Smith (d 1833) in 1797, but his greater interest in portrait painting led him to take life classes at the Royal Academy, London; he exhibited portraits there from 1799. Versatile and industrious, he painted miniature likenesses, taught drawing, designed and engraved illustrations for books in French, Portuguese and English, and wrote for and illustrated Rudolph Ackermann's Repository. His half-a-crown watercolours, known as 'pretty faces', were particularly popular, and he found employment as an assiduous copyist. In 1809 he was elected to the Society of Painters in Water-Colours and for the next nine years exhibited careful and colourful images of the countryside that provided views of the year's harvest. In 1817 Uwins travelled to France to record the Burgundian grape harvest, identifying the labour force more obviously as peasants than their English counterparts. In debt, he moved in 1820 to Edinburgh, where he illustrated books by Walter Scott and painted portraits. In 1824, his debt paid, he left for Italy, where he spent seven years; he sent highly valued copies of Italian works back to England (to Thomas Lawrence among others) and made studies of life in and around Rome and Naples, from which his later successes at the Royal Academy derived. An immodest Protestant, Uwins deplored but revelled in the 'polluted streams' of Catholic Italy, and provided London with oils renowned for their clarity and colour. A Neapolitan Saint Manufactory (exh. RA 1832; Leicester, Mus. & A.G.) shows monks haggling, women gazing and children playing amid carved and painted icons. COCK, Paul de
Flemish painter (1724-1801).