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 :. | Campfire Site, Yosemite | Old Faithful | Sunrise in the Sierras | Albert Bierstadt Capri | A View in the Bahamas |
Related Artists:Carl Wagner
Italian, 1730-1799Akseli Gallen-Kallela
April 26, 1865 C March 7, 1931)
Gallen-Kallela was a Finnish artist and designer closely associated with notions of National Romanticism, especially relating to the region of Karelia, also a source of inspiration for the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. Of particular influence was the collection of folk poems formed in the middle of the 19th century by Elias Lonrot. Following a national competition in 1891 Gallen-Kallela illustrated this national epic known as the Kaleval, the vivid images of which soon became widely known throughout Finland. He also made a significant contribution to the Finnish Pavilion at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900 in which he painted frescoes on Kalevala themes in the main dome, as well as designing textiles and furniture. His furniture designs were made by the Iris company, founded by a close friend, Louis Sparre. Like many other ventures associated with Arts and Crafts, the Iris company was concerned with the production of well-designed, well-made furniture and ceramics. Gallen-Kallela designs at Paris 1900 attracted considerable attention leading to the award of a number of Gold and Silver Medals at the exhibition. He worked in a wide range of design media, including ryiji rugs, which he modernized using geometric motifs derived from the Finnish landscape. His distinctive contribution to Finnish culture is preserved in the Gallen-Kallela Museum, which was originally built by him as a studio and family home between 1911 and 1913 and now contains a large body of his work, including paintings, graphics, textiles, jewellery, stained glass, and architectural designs.