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 :. | Yellowstone Falls | The Sunset at Monterey Bay, the California Coast | Yosemite Valley | Seal Rock, California | Sunset in the Rockies |
Related Artists:John Francis Murphy
(December 11, 1853 - January 30, 1921), American landscape painter.
He was born at Oswego, New York and first exhibited at the National Academy of Design in 1876, and was made an associate in 1885 and a full academician two years later. He became a member of the Society of American Artists (1901) and of the American Watercolor Society. At first influenced by Wyant and Inness, after 1900 he attacked the modern problems of light and air, thus combining the old and new theories of landscape painting. His chief characteristics are extreme refinement and charm, poetic sentiment, and beauty of surface. His composition is simple and his rendering of soil unique. A past master of values, he preferred the quiet and subdued aspects of nature. He received numerous awards, including a gold medal at Charleston (1902) and the Inness medal in 1910.Ludwig Ferdinand Schnorr von Carolsfeld
painted Three Marys at the Tomb of Christ in 1835Baur,Johann Wilhelm