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 Wetterhorn | Looking Down Yosemite Valley, California | Yellowstone Falls | the conflagration | The Old Mill |
Related Artists:REYMERSWALE, Marinus van
Flemish Northern Renaissance Painter, ca.1490-1567Armand Palliere
painted Pedro II of Brazil, aged 4 in 1830BELLE-CHOSE, Henri
Flemish Gothic Era Painter, active ca.1415-1440
South Netherlandish painter. He was one of the artists who came from the South Netherlands to work for the French royal family. On 23 May 1415 he succeeded Jean Malouel as court painter and Valet de Chambre to John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, in Dijon, and he may already have been connected with Malouel's workshop. On 5 November 1415 Bellechose was paid for painting four small wooden pillars with angels, which were placed around the high altar of Notre-Dame, Dijon. On 19 May 1416 the duke authorized the purchase of materials for Bellechose to complete two panels, one of the Martyrdom of St Denis and another showing the Death of the Virgin, for the Charterhouse of Champmol. Bellechose also carried out decorative work, including painting banners for the Duke's castle of Talant near Dijon in 1416 and coats of arms for the funeral of John the Fearless in 1419. On 5 April 1420 Bellechose was appointed court painter to Philip the Good, successor to John the Fearless. His first known commissions were again of a decorative nature, including work for the funerals of Margaret of Bavaria, wife of John the Fearless, in 1423 and of Catherine of Burgundy, daughter of an earlier Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Bold, in 1425 and for the marriage of Philip the Good's sister Agnes of Burgundy in 1424. During these years he had eight assistants and two apprentices; travelling artists, including some from German territory, also worked in his shop on a temporary basis. Around this time he married Alixant Lebon, daughter of a Dijon notary. On 21 November 1425 Philip the Good ordered an altarpiece of the Virgin venerated by John the Fearless and Philip the Good, accompanied by SS John the Evangelist and Claude, for the chapel of the castle at Saulx-le-Duc in Burgundy. Bellechose painted three statues for the new entrance gate to the palace in Dijon in 1426. In August 1429 he received an important commission for St Michel, Dijon, to make an altarpiece with Christ and the Twelve Apostles and an antependium showing the Annunciation. Exactly a year later his name appears for the last time in the ducal accounts.