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 :. | San Francisco Bay | Hetch Hetchy Valley | The Sierras near Lake Tahoe, California | Men in Two Canoes | Island Lake,Wind River Range |
Related Artists:Luis Riccardo Falero
American portrait and genre painter, 1824-1906
American painter and printmaker. Between 1840 and 1842 he was apprenticed to the Boston lithographer John H. Bufford (1810-70). His mastery of this medium is apparent in his few lithographs, of which the best known is Marguerite (c. 1865-70; Worcester, MA, Amer. Antiqua. Soc.). In 1845 he moved to Washington, DC, where he drew portraits in chalk, crayon and charcoal of prominent Americans, including Daniel Webster, John Quincy Adams and Dolly Madison (all 1846; Cambridge, MA, Fogg). In 1846 he settled in Boston and brought his early portrait style to its fullest development. His chiaroscuro charcoal drawings, of exceptional sensitivity, were remarkably sophisticated for an essentially self-trained artist. In 1848 he travelled to Europe to study painting at the D?sseldorf Akademie. During his two-year stay he was closely associated with Emanuel Leutze, and painted his first genre subjectsHenri van Assche
born at Brussels in 1774, showed from his earliest years a predilection for painting, and received from his father, who was a distinguished amateur artist, the first principles of design and perspective. He was afterwards placed with Deroy of Brussels, from whom he received further instructions in painting. Journeys in Switzerland and Italy contributed to develop his talent as a landscape painter. His great partiality for representing waterfalls, mountain streams, and mills gained for him the name of 'The Painter of Waterfalls.' Several pictures by him may be seen in public and private collections of Brussels, Ghent, Lille, and Haarlem, some of which are enriched with figures and animals by Ommeganck. He died at Brussels in 1841.