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 :. | Yellowstone Falls | The_Ambush | Alaskan Coastal Range | On the Plains | Albert Bierstadt Capri |
Related Artists:Marstrand, Wilhelm
Danish painter and illustrator. He was a student of C. W. Eckersberg at the Kunstakademi in Copenhagen (1825-33). His art reflects his constant observation of the world around him, in particular middle-class society, and the narrative element dominated his pictures of crowds in the city streets. Throughout his life he sought inspiration from literature and the theatre. In his early genre painting Moving Day Scene (1831; Niv?, Nivaagaards Malsaml.) it was the popular novelty of vaudeville that interested him. The October Festival (1839; Copenhagen, Thorvaldsens Mus.) reveals how Marstrand's five-year stay (1836-41) in Italy opened his eyes to the classical ideal of beauty. It was, however, an ideal that found little response in contemporary Denmark, and he turned towards a more anecdotal and humorous approach. In Scene of Country Life (1843; Copenhagen, Kon. Dan. Kstakad.), painted as a set subject for the Kunstakademi, Marstrand took as his theme a scene from Erasmus Montanus, a play by the 18th-century Danish poet and playwright Ludvig Holberg. Thereafter Holberg's comedies provided an inexhaustible source that satisfied Marstrand's need to pursue his investigations of human character. Family life similarly interested him throughout his career, as in his Scene of Daily Life (1857; Copenhagen, Stat. Mus. Kst). Such group portraits as The Waagepetersen Family (1836; Copenhagen, Stat. Mus. Kst) show an equal concern to depict the quiet details of Danish domestic life. Marstrand continued to travel abroad in search of inspiration. His stay in Venice in 1853-4 was particularly important; his studies there of the great Venetian painters improved his understanding of the handling of colour, as seen clearly in the many historical and religious paintings of his last years. Of particular interest is his mural decoration of Christian IV's chapel in Roskilde Cathedral (1864-6) with scenes from the life of the Danish monarch. Marstrand's paintings have a certain facetiousness which often obscures a much deeper philosophical content. For this reason, it is his drawings that arouse more admiration. James Duncan
painted Portrait of Mere Marguerite d'Youville in 1825-1881Bernardo Strozzi
Bernardo Strozzi Galleries
Strozzi was born in Genoa. He was probably not related to the other Strozzi family.
In 1598, at the age of 17, he joined a Capuchin monastery, a reform branch of the Franciscan order. When his father died c1608, he left the order to care for his mother, earning their living with his paintings, which were often influenced by Franciscan teachings, for example his Adoration of the Shepherds (c. 1615) . In 1625, he was charged with illegally practicing as a painter. When his mother died c1630, Bernardo was pressured in court by the Capuchin's to re-enter the order. He was briefly imprisoned in Genoa , and upon release fled to Venice to avoid confinement in a monastery in 1631. He became nicknamed all his life as il prete Genovese (the Genoa priest).
Saint Christopher, by Strozzi.Early paintings, such as The Ecstasy of St Francis show the dark emotionalism of Caravaggio. But by the second decade of the 17th century, while working in Venice, Strozzi had synthesized a personal style which fused painterly influences of the North (including Rubens and Veronese) with a monumental realistic starkness. For example, in the painting The Incredulity of Thomas, the background is muted, yet Jesus' face, haloed and his outline, misty, in a style atypical of Caravaggio. Never as dark as the Caravaggisti, Venice infused his painting with a gentler edge, a style more acceptable to the local patronage, and one derived from his precursors in Venice, Jan Lys (died 1629) and Domenico Fetti (died 1626), who had also fused the influence of Caravaggio into Venetian art. Examples of this style can be found in his Parable of the Wedding Guests (1630),Christ giving keys of Heaven to Saint Peter (1630),, Saint Lawrence distributing Alms at San Nicol?? da Tolentino and a Personification of Fame (1635-6). He was also likely influenced by Velazquez (who visited Genoa in 1629-30).
After a commission to paint Claudio Monteverdi his fame grew, and his portrait paintings included many of the leading Venetians. His pupils and painter strongly influenced by him included Giovanni Andrea de Ferrari (1598-1669), Giovanni Bernardo Carbone, Valerio Castello and, Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione.