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 :. | The Yosemite Fall | Storm in the Rocky Mountains Mt Rosalie | Thunderstorm in the Rocky Mountains | Yosemite Valley, California | Evening Glow at Lake Louise, Rocky Mountains, Canada |
Related Artists:school of Dijon
beginning of the fifteenth centuryBACKHUYSEN, Ludolf
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, ca.1631-1708
Ludolf Backhuysen (or Bakhuizen) (Dec 28, 1630 - Nov 17, 1708) was a Dutch painter, born in Emden, Hanover.
Bakhuysen started his career as a bookkeeper. He had a very nice handwriting and loved arithmetic. Working for a wealthy merchant at Amsterdam, he discovered so strong a genius for painting that he relinquished the business and devoted himself to art. He studied first under Allart van Everdingen and then under Hendrik Dubbels, two eminent masters of the time, and soon became celebrated for his sea-pieces.
He was an ardent student of nature, and frequently exposed himself on the sea in an open boat in order to study the effects of storms. His compositions, which are numerous, are nearly all variations of one subject, the sea, and in a style peculiarly his own, marked by intense realism or faithful imitation of nature. In his later years Backhuysen employed his skills in etching and calligraphy.
During his life Backhuysen was visited by Cosimo III de' Medici and Peter the Great. In 1699 he opened a gallery on the topfloor of the famous Amsterdam townhall. After a visit to England he died in Amsterdam on November 17, 1708.Baron Antoine-Jean Gros
Baron Antoine-Jean Gros Galleries
The son of a painter, Antoine Jean Gros was born in Paris on March 16, 1771. At the age of 14 he entered the studio of Jacques Louis David, the acknowledged leader of the classical revival. Although his own work became radically different from David's, he maintained a lifelong respect for his teacher and envisioned himself as the upholder of the Davidian tradition.
In 1787 Gros entered the Acad??mie de Peinture, and when the Acad??mie dissolved in 1793 (a result of the French Revolution) he went to Italy. He met Josephine Bonaparte in Genoa in 1796, and she introduced him to Napoleonic society. Gros entered Napoleon's immediate entourage and accompanied him on several north Italian campaigns. Gros also became involved with Napoleon's program of confiscating Italian art for removal to France.
Gros returned to Paris in 1800 and began to show his Napoleonic paintings in the annual Salons. The most famous of these are the Pesthouse at Jaffa (1804) and Napoleon at Eylau (1808). These works served to deify Napoleon, showing him engaged in acts of heroism and mercy. Stylistically, the paintings were revolutionary:their exotic settings, rich color, agitated space, and general penchant for showing the gruesome specifics of war and suffering differed radically from the cool generalizations of Davidian classicism that Gros had learned as a student. The presentation of contemporary historical events was also new, a harbinger of the realism that developed steadily during the first half of the 19th century in French, American, and English painting. Finally, the emphatic emotionalism of Gros's art established the foundation of romantic painting that Th??odore G??ricault and Eug??ne Delacroix developed after him.
Unlike that of some of his countrymen (David is a case in point), Gros's position did not suffer after the fall of Napoleon. Gros painted for the restored monarchy, for instance, Louis XVIII Leaving the Tuileries (1817), and he decorated the dome of the Panth??on in Paris with scenes of French history (1814-1824). For this Charles X made him a baron in 1824. But these works lack the zest and commitment of Gros's Napoleonic period, perhaps because they were not based on the immediate kinds of historical experiences that had inspired the earlier paintings.
Although marked by considerable public success, Gros's later career was in many ways acutely troubled. Basically, he could not resolve his personal esthetic theories with his own painting or with the work of his younger contemporaries. To the end Gros wished to propagate the classicism of David, and he took over David's studio when the master was exiled in 1816. By the 1820s, however, the revolutionary romanticism of G??ricault and Delacroix, among others, had clearly begun to eclipse classicism, and Gros found himself fighting a lonely and losing battle for conservatism. Ironically, he was fighting a trend that his own best work had helped to originate. As he persisted, moreover, his own painting began to show a diffident mixture of classic and romantic attitudes. Thus, while he was inherently a romantic, he tragically came to doubt himself. Gros died on June 26, 1835, apparently a suicide.