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 :. | California Redwoods | In_the_Foothills | Elk Grazing in the Wind River Country | Lake Louise | Lake Tahoe, Spearing Fish by Torchlight |
Related Artists:Frank Benson
American painter, etcher and teacher. He attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, from 1880 to 1883 as a student of Otto Grundmann (1844-90) and Frederick Crowninshield (1845-1918). In 1883 he travelled with his fellow student and lifelong friend Edmund C. Tarbell to Paris, where they both studied at the Acad?mie Julian for three years with Gustave Boulanger and Jules Lefebvre. Benson travelled with Tarbell to Italy in 1884 and to Italy, Belgium, Germany and Brittany the following year. When he returned home, Benson became an instructor at the Portland (ME) School of Art, and after his marriage to Ellen Perry Peirson in 1888 he settled in Salem, MA. Benson taught with Tarbell at the Museum School in Boston from 1889 until their resignation over policy differences in 1913. Margaret Isabel Dicksee
Abbott Handerson Thayer
American Painter, 1849-1921
American painter and naturalist. He spent his youth in rural New England, where his earliest paintings were wildlife subjects, reflecting his interest in hunting and fishing. While in his teens Thayer achieved some success doing portraits of family pets, which he continued after a move to New York. He attended classes at the Brooklyn Art School and National Academy of Design, but in 1875 he settled in Paris, studying under Henri Lehmann and Jean-L?on G?r?me at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. While abroad he produced landscapes in the Barbizon style and genre scenes, but on his return to New York in 1879