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 :. | Splendour of the Grand Tetons | Home of the Rainbow, Horseshoe Falls, Niagara | Tropical Landscape | Rhone Valley | Rocky Mountains |
Related Artists:James Bard
Italian, approx. 1587-1629
Italian painter and engraver. From 1600 until at least 1613 he was in Naples, where the naturalism of landscape painters from northern Europe, particularly Paul Bril, Goffredo Wals ( fl 1615-31) and Adam Elsheimer, influenced his early development. After 1614 he was in Rome and became acquainted with the landscapes and seascapes of Agostino Tassi. In 1617 Cosimo II de' Medici summoned him to Florence, where he worked closely with Jacques Callot. Filippo sketched in the Tuscan countryside, and pen-and-wash drawings such as the Landscape with a Rustic House (Florence, Uffizi) capture effects of bright sunlight. He developed a new kind of realistic landscape, showing small scenes that suggest the charm of country life; examples are the Country Dance (1618; Florence, Uffizi), the Mill (Florence, Pitti) and the Fair at Impruneta (Florence, Pitti). In 1620-21 he produced a series of etchings of Skeletons of Animals, dedicated to the scientist Johann Faber, and in 1622 twelve etchings of Caprices and Military Uniforms (signed Teodor Filippo de Liagno). Birch, Thomas
English-born American Painter, 1779-1851
American painter of English birth. He was one of the most important American landscape and marine painters of the early 19th century. He moved to America in 1794 with his father William Birch (1755-1834), a painter and engraver from whom he received his artistic training. The family settled in Philadelphia, where William, armed with letters of introduction from Benjamin West to leading citizens of that city, became a drawing-master. Early in their American careers both Birches executed cityscapes, several of which were engraved. Thomas contributed a number of compositions to The City of Philadelphia in the State of Pennsylvania, North America, as it Appeared in the Year 1800 (1800), a series of views conceived by the elder Birch in obvious imitation of comparable British productions. An English sensibility is also apparent in the many paintings of country estates executed by father and son in the early 19th century These compositions, along with such portrayals of important public edifices in and near Philadelphia as Fairmount Waterworks