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 :. | Deer at Sunset | the conflagration | Day-s_Beginning | Autumn in the Conway Meadows looking towards Mount Washington | Roman Fish Market, Arch of Octavius |
Related Artists:William Aiken Walker
Russian Painter, 1782-1836
Russian painter and draughtsman. The leading Russian portrait painter of the Romantic period, he was the illegitimate son of the landowner A. D'yakonov and was adopted by his serf, Adam Shval'b and granted his freedom at birth. His surname is unconnected with that of either his real or his adoptive father, and its origin is uncertain. In 1798 he was sent to the St Petersburg Academy of Arts, eventually studying history painting under Gabriel-Francois Doyen and Grigory Ugryumov. In 1805 he received an important gold medal for his painting Dmitry Donskoy on the Field of Kulikovo (St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.) and won the right to travel to Italy on a scholarship. He did not, however, do so immediately, because of the tense political situation in Europe. Kiprensky's history painting was in keeping with the patriotic mood of Russian society during the years of the war against Napoleon. BALDUNG GRIEN, Hans
German Northern Renaissance Painter and Printmaker, ca.1484-1545