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 :. | Looking Down Yosemite Valley, California | Campfire Site, Yosemite | The Wetterhorn | The Arch of Octavius | Tropical Landscape |
Related Artists:Domenico Morelli
Italian, 1826-1901,Italian painter and teacher. Unique among his Italian colleagues in enjoying an international reputation in his lifetime, he was, with Filippo Palizzi (see PALIZZI, (2)), the leading exponent of the Neapolitan school of painting in the second half of the 19th century and a major figure in the artistic and cultural life of Italy. His realistic treatment of Romantic subjects revitalized academic painting, Peter Dewint
(1784-1849)Robert Talbot Kelly
(1861 - 1934) was an English orientalist landscape and genre painter, author and illustrator.
Kelly was born in Birkenhead, Cheshire, the son of Irish landscape artist Robert George Kelly. He left school in 1876 to take up work in a firm of cotton traders, but was also taught art by his father, exhibiting under the name R. G. Kelly Jnr.
In the early 1880s, inspired by the places he saw while on vacation on an ocean cruise ship, Talbot-Kelly decided to take up his father's profession. He left his employment in 1882, travelled by boat to North Africa, and settled in Egypt in 1883, acquiring a studio in Cairo and becoming fluent in Arabic. He travelled throughout the country, writing about and painting the people and scenes he encountered both in towns and in the desert. He spent a considerable time with the Bedouin tribes who he described and illustrated in his 1902 book, "Egypt painted and described" (A & C Black). As his name became known he also earned an income from private commissions. He stayed in Egypt until 1915 when for reasons of health and age he returned to London - though he continued to paint constantly.
An Arab cafe in Cairo (from "Egypt painted and described", 1902)"Egypt painted and described", his first illustrated travel book, was published in 1902 (by A & C Black), and was an account of his impressions and experiences of that country during his long stay there; an exhibition of his Egyptian views was also held at the Fine Art Society in the same year. His paintings and writing showed a great empathy and respect for local people and culture, especially that of the desert Bedouin Arabs.