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 :. | Looking Down Yosemite Valley, California | The Wetterhorn | The Yosemite Valley | High in the Mountains | Autumn in the Conway Meadows looking towards Mount Washington |
Related Artists:Francesco Cairo
(1607-1665) was an Italian painter active in Baroque Lombardy and Piedmont.
He was born and died in Milan. It is not known where he obtained his early training though he is strongly influenced by the circle of il Morazzone, in works such as the Saint Teresa altarpiece in the Certosa di Pavia.
In 1633, Cairo moved to Turin to work as a court painter, including portraits, to Vittorio Amedeo I of the House of Savoy. Between 1637-1638, Cairo travelled to Rome, where he encounters the works of Pietro da Cortona, Guido Reni and of the Caravaggisti. He returns to Lombardy to complete altarpieces for the Certosa of Pavia and a church at Casalpusterlengo. He painted a St. Theresa for San Carlo in Venice. Between 1646-1649, he returns to Turin, and paints an altarpiece for Savigliano and the church of San Salvario. He is also known as Il Cavaliere del Cairo, because in Turin, he received the order of SS. Lazarus and Maurice in recognition of his merit.
Many of his works are eccentric depictions of religious ecstasies; the saints appear liquefied and contorted by piety. He often caps them with exuberant, oriental turbans. Lucas Cassel
French Neoclassical Painter, 1770-1837
was a French painter born in Rome, where his father occupied a post in the house of the French ambassador. His mother was Italian. François Gerard was born in Rome, on 12 March 1770, to J. S. Gerard and Cleria Matteï. At the age of twelve Gerard obtained admission into the Pension du Roi in Paris. From the Pension he passed to the studio of the sculptor Augustin Pajou which he left at the end of two years for that of the history painter Nicolas-Guy Brenet, whom he quit almost immediately to place himself under Jacques-Louis David. In 1789 he competed for the Prix de Rome, which was carried off by his comrade Girodet. In the following year (1790) he again presented himself, but the death of his father prevented the completion of his work, and obliged him to accompany his mother to Rome. In 1791 he returned to Paris; but his poverty was so great that he was forced to forgo his studies in favor of employment which should bring in immediate profit. David at once availed himself of his help, and one of that master's most celebrated portraits, of Le Pelletier de St Fargeaumay, owes much to the hand of Gerard. This painting was executed early in 1793, the year in which Gerard, at the request of David, was named a member of the revolutionary tribunal, from the fatal decisions of which he, however, invariably absented himself. In 1794 he obtained the first prize in a competition, the subject of which was The Tenth of August, and, further stimulated by the successes of his rival and friend Girodet in the Salons of 1793 and 1794, Gerard (nobly aided by Jean-Baptiste Isabey, the miniaturist, produced in 1795 his famous Belisaire. In 1796 a portrait of his generous friend (in the Louvre) obtained undisputed success, and the money received from Isabey for these two works enabled Gerard to execute in 1797 his Psyche et l'Amour (illustration). At last, in 1799, his portrait of Madame Mere established his position as one of the first portrait-painters of the day. In 1808 as many as eight, in 1810 no less than fourteen portraits by him, were exhibited at the Salon, and these figures afford only an indication of the enormous numbers which he executed yearly; all the leading figures of the Empire and of the Restoration, all the most celebrated men and women of Europe, sat to Gerard. This extraordinary vogue was due partly to the charm of his manner and conversation, for his salon was as much frequented as his studio; Madame de Staël, George Canning, Talleyrand, the Duke of Wellington, have all borne witness to the attraction of his society. Rich and famous, Gerard was stung by remorse for earlier ambitions abandoned; at intervals he had indeed striven to prove his strength with Girodet and other rivals, and his Bataille d'Austerlitz (1810) showed a breadth of invention and style which are even more conspicuous in L'Entree d'Henri IV Paris (at Versailles), the work with which in 1817 he did homage to the Bourbons. After this date Gerard declined,