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 :. | Guerrilla_Warfare (Picket Duty In Virginia) | The Golden Gate | The Yosemite Fall | Western Kansas | On the Plains |
Related Artists:CAPELLE, Jan van de
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, ca.1624-1679Tait Arthur Fitzwilliam
English-born American Painter, 1819-1905
American painter and lithographer of English birth. He spent the first three decades of his life in England and arrived in New York in 1850. Steeped in admiration for the subjects of Edwin Landseer and the style of the Pre-Raphaelites, he established himself as a realistic painter of animals and sporting scenes. For his images of Western hunters and trappers, he used as sources the works of George Catlin and William Ranney, artists who, unlike himself, had travelled extensively. He established a summer studio at a camp in the Adirondack Mountains, where he painted sporting scenes. These wilderness scenes, often composed around an anecdote, appealed to a wide popular audience, and from 1852 Currier & Ives as well as Louis Prang published a number of lithographs and chromolithographs of his work. Tait also composed still-lifes of game birds and, in his later career, barnyard scenes of sheep and chickens. His painting A Tight Fix: Bear Hunting in Early WinterGermain-Fabius Brest