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 :. | By_a_Mountain_Lake | Rhone Valley | Moonlit_Landscape | The_Ambush | The Rocky Mountains, Landers Peak |
Related Artists:John Neagle
John Neagle Gallery
Neagle's training in art began with instruction from the drawing-master Pietro Ancora and an apprenticeship to Thomas Wilson, a well-connected painter of signs and coaches in Philadelphia. Wilson introduced him to the painters Bass Otis and Thomas Sully, and Neagle became a protege of the latter. In 1818 Neagle decided to concentrate exclusively on portraits, setting up shop as an independent master.
Aside from brief sojourns in Lexington, Kentucky, and New Orleans, Louisiana, he spent his career in Philadelphia. In May 1826 he married Sully's stepdaughter Mary, and for a time the son-in-law and father-in-law dominated the field of portraiture in the city. Neagle served as Director of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and was also a founder and president (1835-43) of the Artist's Fund Society of Philadelphia.Benjamin Constant
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Dutch, approx. 1575-1632
Hendrik van Balen
Students included Anthony Van Dyck, Frans Snyders and Gerard Seghers