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 Golden Gate | Rhone Valley | San Francisco Bay | On the Plains | Bay of Monterey, California |
Related Artists:Levi Wells Prentice
Levi Wells Prentice Gallery
Prentice was associated with the Hudson River School, a group of artists known throughout art circles. According to the book Nature Staged by Barbara Jones, Prentice followed a self-prescribed educational path, begun by the Hudson River School and reinforced by John Ruskin's (1819-1900) truth-to-nature principles laid out in his book Modern Painters. Although he can be allied to both schools of thought, Prentice can not be considered a member of either. This book has a photo of the artist in his early Brooklyn studio surrounded by his paintings and a complete essay on his life and work.
Levi grew up on a farm in Lewis County, New York. By 1872, Prentice had traveled through the Adirondack Mountains, painting the views as well as the surrounding region. He opened his first studio as a landscape painter in Syracuse, New York in 1875.
Self-taught artist Levi Wells Prentice is best known for his realistic still life compositions of fruit arranged within a landscape, or abundantly spilling from bushel baskets. Early in his career, he painted portraits and landscapes of the Adirondack Mountain region of Lewis County, New York, his birthplace.
Levi married an English woman Emma Roseloe Sparks in Buffalo, New York in 1882 and had two children, Leigh (born 22 March 1887) and Imogene (born 17 September 1889).
Prentice then turned to painting still life subjects when he moved briefly to Brooklyn, New York in 1883, focusing on fruit, in order of frequency apples, strawberries, peaches, plums, raspberries, cherries, muskmelons, pears, currants, pineapples, gooseberries, grapes and bananas usually piled high in pots or in natural settings.
Prentice subsequently moved around from 1903-07 before settling in the Germantown district of Philadelphia. However, his work did not gain much recognition with historians until the 1970s. He was a member of the Brooklyn Art Association and frequently exhibited his paintings there.
In addition to his artistic talents, he was a craftsman who enjoyed making his own brushes, palettes and frames.
In his painting, Prentice placed an emphasis on dark outlining with a concern for textual precision, creating dramatic contrasts. The shift between dark background areas and the vibrant hues of the fruit are done to give the compositions an exciting, visual energy. The fruit is presented with clarity and precision. An emphasis appears to be placed on the idea of man versus nature. The wooden baskets with hand-wrought nails represent a structured, man-made object, while the overly ripe fruit represents the fleeting qualities of nature. These paintings also demonstrate Prentice's remarkable skills at rendering color, form, and texture.
Noted art historian William H. Gerdts observed: there are several works by Prentice in which he achieves a quality of illusionism which is unsurpassed. In 1993, the skillful 'illusionism' of Levi Wells Prentice was celebrated in a retrospective exhibition at the Adirondack Museum in New York. His works continue to receive a high degree of appreciation by collectors today. He is represented in many museums including the New York State Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Montclair Art Museum, Philbrook Museum of Art and Yale University Art Gallery.
Levi died 28 November 1935 in Germantown, Pennsylvania.MOREELSE, Paulus
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, 1571-1638
Dutch painter, draughtsman, architect and urban planner. He was from a well-to-do family, which settled in Utrecht c. 1568. According to van Mander, Paulus studied with the Delft portrait painter Michiel van Mierevelt and was in Italy before 1596, the year he became an independent master in the saddlemakers' guild, to which Utrecht painters then belonged. On 8 June 1602 he married Antonia Wyntershoven, by whom he had at least ten children. The most famous of his many pupils was Dirck van Baburen, who studied with him in 1611, when the Utrecht artists set up their own Guild of St Luke. Moreelse was instrumental in this and became its first dean. In 1618, after a series of political disagreements, a number of citizens, including Moreelse and the painter Joachim Wtewael, petitioned the town council to resign. When that occurred, Moreelse became a member of the new council and continued to hold various public offices until his death. He was a strong supporter of plans to found a university in Utrecht and was closely involved in the preparations and in its opening in 1636Philips Wouwerman
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, 1619-1668
Dutch painter and draughtsman. He was the eldest son of the painter Paulus [Pauwels] Joostens Wouwerman of Alkmaar (d 28 Sept 1642), whose two other sons, Pieter Wouwerman (1623-82) and Johannes Wouwerman (1629-66), also became painters. Philips probably received his first painting lessons from his father, none of whose work has been identified. According to Cornelis de Bie, Wouwerman was next apprenticed to Frans Hals, although no trace of Hals's influence is discernible in Wouwerman's work. Wouwerman is also reputed to have spent several weeks in 1638 or 1639 working in Hamburg in the studio of the German history painter Evert Decker (d 1647). While in Hamburg, he married Annetje Pietersz. van Broeckhof. On 4 September 1640 Wouwerman joined the Guild of St Luke in Haarlem, in which in 1646 he held the office of vinder (agent or 'finder'). Given the many southern elements in his landscapes, it has repeatedly been suggested that Wouwerman must have travelled to France or Italy, but there is no documentary evidence that he left his native Haarlem for more than short periods.