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 :. | Mountainous Landscape | Bahamas Harbour | Wharf Scene with Ship at Dock | Indian Encampment [Indian Camp in the Mountains] | Yellowstone Falls |
Related Artists:Marinus van Reymerswaele
Flemish Northern Renaissance Painter, ca.1490-1567
South Netherlandish painter. He has been identified with Marino di Sirissea and with Marinus de Seeu, painter of Romerswaelen, mentioned respectively by Guicciardini and van Mander. He could quite possibly have been Moryn Claessone, native of Zeeland, who enrolled as a pupil of 'Simon the glassmaker' in the Antwerp Guild of St Luke in 1509. In that case he would have been born c. 1490-95. Claes van Ziericsee, an artist who became master of the Guild in 1475, is assumed to have been his father though this cannot be proved conclusively. Van Reymerswaele's work corresponds closely with Antwerp painting of the beginning of the 16th centuryMEMMI, Lippo
Italian Byzantine Style Painter, ca.1290-1347John Frederick Peto
John Frederick Peto Gallery
John Frederick Peto (May 21, 1854 ?C November 23, 1907) was an American trompe l'oeil ("fool the eye") painter who was long forgotten until his paintings were rediscovered along with those of fellow trompe l'oeil artist William Harnett.
Although Peto and the slightly older Harnett knew each other and painted similar subjects, their careers followed different paths. Peto was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts at the same time as Harnett. Until he was in his mid-thirties, he submitted paintings regularly to the annual exhibitions at the Philadelphia Academy. In 1889, he moved to the resort town of Island Heights, New Jersey, where he worked in obscurity for the rest of his life. He and his wife took in seasonal boarders, he found work playing cornet at the town's camp revival meetings, and he supplemented his income by selling his paintings to tourists. He never had a gallery exhibition in his lifetime. Harnett, on the other hand, achieved success and had considerable influence on other artists painting in the trompe l'oeil genre, but even his paintings were given the snub by critics as mere novelty and trickery.
Both artists were masters of trompe l'oeil, a genre of still life that aims to deceive the viewer into mistaking painted objects for reality. Exploiting the fallibility of human perception, the trompe l'oeil painter depicts objects in accordance with a set of rules unique to the genre. For example, Peto and Harnett both represented the objects in their paintings at their actual size, and the objects rarely were cut off by the edge of the painting, as this would allow a visual cue to the viewer that the depiction was not real. But the main technical device was to arrange the subject matter in a shallow space, using the shadow of the objects to suggest depth without the eye seeing actual depth. Thus the term trompe l'oeil??"fool the eye." Both artists enthrall the viewer with a disturbing but pleasant sense of confusion.
Letter Rack by PetoPeto's paintings, generally considered less technically skilled than Harnett's, are more abstract, use more unusual color, and often have a stronger emotional resonance. Peto's mature works have an opaque and powdery texture which is often compared to Chardin.
The subject matter of Peto's paintings consisted of the most ordinary of things: pistols, horseshoes, bits of paper, keys, books, and the like. He frequently painted old time "letter racks," which were a kind of board that used ribbons tacked into a square that held notes, letters, pencils, and photographs. Many of Peto's paintings reinterpret themes Harnett had painted earlier, but Peto's compositions are less formal and his objects are typically rustier, more worn, less expensive looking.
Other artists who practiced trompe l'oeil in the late nineteenth century include John Haberle and Jefferson David Chalfant. Otis Kaye followed several decades later.
A pioneering study of Peto and Harnett is Alfred Frankenstein's After the Hunt, William Harnett and Other American Still Life Painters 1870-1900. Frankenstein's book itself is a fantastic tale of solving the mystery of why these artists were forgotten for much of the twentieth century.