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 :. | Oregon Trail, | A River Landscape, Westphalia | The Rocky Mountains, Lander's Peak | Evening Glow at Lake Louise, Rocky Mountains, Canada | Albert Bierstadt Capri |
Related Artists:Aubrey Beardsley
English Art Nouveau/Golden Age Illustrator, 1872-1898
English draughtsman and writer. He was brought up in Brighton, in genteel poverty, by his mother. She gave her children an intensive education in music and books, and by the time he was sent to boarding-school at the age of seven Beardsley was exceptionally literate and something of a musical prodigy. He was also already infected with the tuberculosis that eventually killed him. There is evidence that his talent for drawing was highly developed by the age of ten, and he was subsequently encouraged by his housemaster at Brighton Grammar School, Arthur William King. Beardsley left school at the end of 1888, and in January 1889 became a clerk at the Guardian Life and Fire Insurance Company in the City of London. Attacks of haemorrhaging of the lungs forced him to abandon his job at the end of 1889. On the strength of a short story sold to Tit Bits he tried to pursue a literary career, but when his health improved in the spring of 1890, he returned both to his job and to drawing. Final affirmation of the direction of his art came in July 1891, when he showed his work to Edward Burne-Jones, who told Beardsley: 'I seldom or never advise anyone to take up art as a profession, but in your case I can do nothing else.Sandro Botticelli
Italian Early Renaissance Painter, 1445-1510
Italian painter and draughtsman. In his lifetime he was one of the most esteemed painters in Italy, enjoying the patronage of the leading families of Florence, in particular the Medici and their banking clients. He was summoned to take part in the decoration of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, was highly commended by diplomatic agents to Ludovico Sforza in Milan and Isabella d Este in Mantua and also received enthusiastic praise from the famous mathematician Luca Pacioli and the humanist poet Ugolino Verino. By the time of his death, however, Botticelli s reputation was already waning. He was overshadowed first by the advent of what Vasari called the maniera devota, a new style by Perugino, Francesco Francia and the young Raphael, whose new and humanly affective sentiment, infused atmospheric effects and sweet colourism took Italy by storm; he was then eclipsed with the establishment immediately afterwards of the High Renaissance style, which Vasari called the modern manner, in the paintings of Michelangelo and the mature works of Raphael in the Vatican. From that time his name virtually disappeared until the reassessment of his reputation that gathered momentum in the 1890s John Closterman
John Closterman (1660-1711) (also spelled Cloosterman, Klosterman), portrait-painter, born in Osnabruck, the son of an artist, who taught him the rudiments of design.
In 1679 he went to Paris, accompanied by his countryman Tiburen, and there worked under Francois de Troy. In 1681 he came to England, and painted draperies for John Riley, at whose death, in 1691, Closterman finished several of his portraits. This recommended him to the Duke of Somerset, but he lost his favour on account of a dispute about a picture of Guercino, specially acquired for his grace, and which was afterwards purchased by Lord Halifax. In 1696 he was invited to the court of Spain, and executed the portraits of the king and queen; he also went to Italy twice, and made several acquisitions of works of art. On returning to England he obtained considerable employment, and married an Englishwoman. He buried his wife, Hannah, on 27 January 1702. According to Arnold Houbraken, he later took a mistress, who then ruined him by her extravagant habits, and ultimately left him in a state of dejection of body and mind that led to his ultimate decline. Jacob Campo Weyerman, who took much of his biographical material from Houbraken, states "Closterman had taken a beautiful mistress who, while he was away in the country, robbed him of his valuables and disappeared, actions which drove the painter into madness".
He died in 1711, and was buried in Covent Garden churchyard.