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 Oregon Trail | Buffalo Head | Albert Bierstadt Conway Meadows New Hampshire | Wooded Hillside | The Oregon Trail |
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Jacopo Bassano Gallery
He was apprenticed to his father, with whom he collaborated on the Nativity (1528; Valstagna, Vicenza, parish church). In the first half of the 1530s Jacopo trained in Venice with Bonifazio de Pitati, whose influence, with echoes of Titian, is evident in the Flight into Egypt (1534; Bassano del Grappa, Mus. Civ.). He continued to work in the family shop until his fathers death in 1539. His paintings from those years were mainly altarpieces for local churches; many show signs of collaboration. He also worked on public commissions, such as the three canvases on biblical subjects (1535-6; Bassano del Grappa, Mus. Civ.) for the Palazzo Communale, Bassano del Grappa, in which the narrative schemes learnt from Bonifazio are combined with a new naturalism. From 1535 he concentrated on fresco painting, executing, for example, the interior and exterior decoration (1536-7) of S Lucia di Tezze, Vicenza, which demonstrates the maturity of his technique.