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 :. | Island Lake,Wind River Range | Mariposa Indian Encampment, Yosemite Valley, California | Indian Summer on the Hudson River | White Mountains, New Hampshire | Departure of an Indian War Party |
Related Artists:LA TOUR, Georges de
French Baroque Era Painter, 1593-1652
French painter. He was well known in his lifetime, especially for his depictions of candlelit subjects, then was forgotten until the 20th century, when the identification of works previously misattributed established his reputation as a giant of French painting. His early works were painted in a realistic manner and influenced by the dramatic chiaroscuro of Caravaggio. The paintings of La Tour's maturity are marked by a startling geometric simplification of the human form and by the depiction of interior scenes lit only by the glare of candles or torches. His religious paintings done in this manner have a monumental simplicity and a stillness that expresses both contemplative quiet and wonder. Little is known of his life, and only four or five of his paintings are dated. Pietro Graziani
Active in Naples during the first half of the 18th Century
ESCALANTE, Juan Antonio Frias y
Spanish painter, Madrid school (b. 1633, Cordoba, d. 1670, Madrid)