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 :. | Four Indians | Cathedral Rock, Yosemite Valley, California | Landscape Study, Yosemite California | Newbraska Wasatch Mountains | The Trappers Camp |
Related Artists:Joaquin Mir Trinxet
Spanish , 1873-1940 Jules-Adolphe Goupil
Jules-Adolphe Goupil Gallery
Edward Matthew Ward
His parents encouraged his early interest in art. He was sent to a number of art schools, including that of John Cawse (1779-1862), before gaining entry to the Royal Academy Schools in 1835. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1834 with Adelphi Smith as Don Quixote (untraced). In 1836 he went abroad for further study, visiting Paris and Venice on the way to Rome, where he spent three years. His first work of any consequence was Cimabue and Giotto (untraced), which he sent back to the Royal Academy show of 1839. On the way back to England at the end of that year Ward visited Munich to learn the technique of modern fresco painting in order to take part in the competition to decorate the Palace of Westminster, but his cartoon, Boadicea (1843; untraced), was unsuccessful. However, in 1852 he was commissioned to produce eight pictures for the Palace of Westminster, on subjects drawn from the English Civil War, the best of which is the Last Sleep of Argyll (1860s) in the Commons Corridor of the Houses of Parliament