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 conflagration | Fishing Boats at Capri | Sunset on the Mountain | A Rustic Mill | A Storm in the Rocky Mountains, Mr. Rosalie |
Related Artists:Eugenio Lucas y Padilla
1824-1870Francois Pascal Simon Gerard
François Pascal Simon, Baron Gerard (12 March 1770 - 11 January 1837) was a French painter born in Rome, where his father occupied a post in the house of the French ambassador. His mother was Italian. As a baron of the Empire he is sometimes referred to as Baron Gerard.
Julius Caesar Ibbetson
In 1785, Ibbetson began exhibiting at the Royal Academy with View of North Fleet. Mitchell calls George Biggin (1783), which is one of Ibbetson's earliest known works, "an accomplished full-length portrait in the Gainsborough tradition, [which] should be considered as a milestone in the development of an artist who was entirely self-taught". Through the efforts of Captain William Baillie in 1787, Ibbetson was made draughtsman to Colonel Charles Cathcart on the first British embassy to Peking (Beijing); he made many watercolor drawings of the animals and plants on the journey. While he was away, his Ascent of George Biggin, esq. from St. George's Fields, June 29th 1785 was exhibited at the Royal Academy to great critical and popular acclaim.
In 1789, Ibbetson went to visit the Viscount Mountstuart at Cardiff Castle in Wales. He spent decades drawing the scenery there and, according to Mitchell, "[h]is detailed watercolours of iron furnaces, coal staithes, and copper mines foreshadow the work of Joseph Wright of Derby and J. M. W. Turner and constitute an important record of the early industrial developments in that region, but are less well known than his more numerous scenes of folk life and picturesque scenery." After a visit to the Isle of Wight in 1790, he began painting shipwrecks and smugglers. David Murray, 2nd Earl of Mansfield, and his wife commissioned Ibbetson to decorate Kenwood House, in 1794. This distracted him from the death of his wife and caring for their three children. Her death had "provoked a minor nervous breakdown, exacerbated by near destitution", but the Kenwood project relieved that stress. Four years later, he moved to Liverpool to work for Thomas Vernon. In 1801 he married his second wife, Bella Thompson, and moved to Ambleside.
Ibbetson acquired several generous patrons in Liverpool and in Edinburgh: William Roscoe, Sir Henry Nelthorpe, and the Countess of Balcarress. The last prompted him to write and publish his instruction manual An Accidence, or Gamut, of Painting in Oil (1803). In 1803, he met the Yorkshire philanthropist William Danby and in 1805 moved to Masham to be near him. The next 14 years of his life were the most settled of his life.
Ibbetson died on 13 October 1817 and was buried in the churchyard of St Mary's, Masham.
Benjamin West described Ibbetson as the "Berchem of England" in recognition of his debt to the Dutch 17th century landscape painters. According to Mitchell, "[h]is watercolours are prized for their delicacy and sureness of line". Many were engraved for projects such as John Church's A Cabinet of Quadrupeds and John Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery.