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 :. | Les Montagnes Rocheuses,Lander's Peak | The Marina Piccola | Storm in the Rocky Mountains, Mt Rosalie | Niagara | Canoes |
Related Artists:Albin Henning
Johann Ludwig Aberli
Swiss, 1723-1786, Swiss painter, draughtsman and engraver. In 1741 he moved to Berne, where he took drawing lessons with Johann Grimm (1675-1747), whose school of drawing he took over in 1747. He visited the Bernese Oberland with Emanuel Handmann, Christian Georg Schetz (1718-91) and Friedrich Wilhelm Hirt (1721-72) in 1759 and in the same year travelled to Paris with Adrian Zingg (1734-86). This was his only trip abroad, but it determined him to work exclusively as a landscape painter. After nine months he returned to Berne, where his landscape views became popular, particularly with foreign travellers, enamoured of 'Nature' and keen to retain souvenirs of their travels. He was one of the first artists to portray the beauties of the Swiss countryside; his favourite subjects were the Aare Valley and views of Swiss lakes (e.g. View of Erlach on the Lake of Biel; Berne, Kstmus.). He invented a technique known as the 'Aberli style', which consisted of watercolour washes added to an image in which slightly smudged outlines were achieved through a combination of engraving and etching. The prints were made from drawings taken from nature and finished in the studio. His style was characterized by delicate execution, an intimate narrative approach, refined colours and the ability to convey a light and vaporous atmosphere. Aberli's success was such that he had to employ assistants and pupils to aid him in the coloration process; his pupils included Erasmus Ritter, Johann Jakob Biedermann, Marquard Wocher (1760-1830), Gabriel Ludwig Lory the elder (1763-1840) and Peter Birmann. From 1773 to 1775 Aberli also painted a series of costumes in response to tourist demand. Fritz von Uhde
was a German painter of genre and religious subjects. His style lay between Realism and .Uhde was born in Wolkenburg, Saxony. In 1866 he was admitted to the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden, but later that year he left his studies for military service, and from 1867 to 1877 he was a professor of horsemanship to the regiment of the assembled guard. He moved to Munich in 1877 to attend the Academy of Fine Arts. In Munich he particularly admired the Dutch old masters, and in 1879 he travelled to Paris where his studies of the Dutch painters continued under Mihely Munkecsy's supervision. In 1882 a journey to Holland brought about a change in his style, as he abandoned the dark chiaroscuro he had learned in Munich in favor of a colorism informed by the works of the French Impressionists. His work was often rejected by the official art criticism, and by the public, because his representations of ordinary scenes were considered vulagar or ugly. The critic Otto Julius Bierbaum was more sympathetic; in 1893, he wrote, "As a painter of children, for example, Uhde is extraordinarily distinguished. He does not depict them as sweetly as used to be popular; in other words not as amusing or charming dolls, but with extreme, very strict naturalness." In about 1890, Uhde became a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.