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 :. | Surveyor's Wagon in the Rockies | Bay of Monterey, California | Albert Bierstadt Looking Down Yosemite Valley | Sunset in the Rockies | The_Ambush |
Related Artists:Heronymus Bosch
Bois-le-Duc ca 1450-1516Melchior de Hondecoeter
Melchior de Hondecoeter Gallery
Melchior d'Hondecoeter (c. 1636 ?C April 3, 1695), Dutch animalier painter, was born at Utrecht, and died in Amsterdam. After the start of his career, he painted virtually exclusively bird subjects, usually exotic or game, in a park-like landscapes.
Being the grandson of Gillis d'Hondecoeter and son of Gijsbert d'Hondecoeter, as well as nephew of Jan Baptist Weenix, he was brought up by the last to the profession of painting, when his father died. Of Weenix we know that he married Gilles daughter Josina in 1638. Melchior was, therefore, also related to Jan Weenix. The latter told Arnold Houbraken, in his youth Melchior was extremely religious, praying very loud, so his mother and uncle doubted if they would have him trained as a painter.
In 1659 he was working in the Hague and became a member of the painters' academy at the Hague. In 1663 Hondecoeter married Susanne Tradel in Amsterdam. While she was captious and having her sisters living in their house, Hondecoeter spent much time in his garden or drinking in the tavern in the Jordaan. On the Lauriergracht, where he used to live, he was surrounded by art dealers and various painters. Later he moved to a house on Prinsengracht. In 1686 he bought a small countryhouse in Vreeland. Hondecoeter died in the house of his daughter Isabel in Warmoesstraat but was buried in Westerkerk near his house. His inventory lists a small gallow, to keep birds in the right position, and several paintings of Frans Snyders.
Melchior began his career with a different speciality from that by which he is usually known. Mr de Stuers affirms that he produced sea-pieces. One of his earliest works is a "Tub with Fish," dated 1655, in the gallery of Brunswick. But Melchior soon abandoned fish for fowl. He acquired celebrity as a painter of birds only, which he represented not exclusively, like Johannes Fyt, as the gamekeeper's perquisite after a day's shooting, or stock of a poulterer's shop, but as living beings with passions, joys, fears and quarrels, to which naturalists will tell us that birds are subject. Without the brilliant tone and high finish of Fyt, his Dutch rival's birds are full of action; and, as Burger truly says, "Hondecoeter displays the maternity of the hen with as much tenderness and feeling as Raphael the maternity of Madonnas."Momper, Franqois de