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_Ambush | Multnomah Falls | Italian Lake Scene | Yosemite Winter Scene | The Wetterhorn |
Related Artists:Owen, William
English painter. The son of a bookseller, he was educated at the grammar school in Ludlow and was sent to London in 1786 to study under Charles Catton the elder (1728-98), coach painter to George III and founder-member of the Royal Academy. Owen's copy of a work by Reynolds, made soon after his arrival, attracted the latter's attention. He entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1791 and exhibited at the Royal Academy the following year. From then on he exhibited there every year, apart from 1823 and 1825, and was elected ARA in 1804 and RA in 1806. He painted a number of rural scenes but specialized in portrait painting. Although his reputation was eclipsed by that of Thomas Lawrence, he was sought after by many of the eminent figures of the day, producing portraits of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr William Howley (1813), and of the politician and essayist John Wilson Croker (exh. 1812; both London, N.P.G.); other of his sitters were William Pitt the younger and John Soane. In 1810 he was appointed portrait painter to the Prince of Wales (later George IV) and in 1813 principal portrait painter to the Prince when the latter became Prince Regent. The Prince Regent does not seem to have sat to him but nonetheless he offered Owen a knighthood, which the painter refused. From c. 1820 Owen's health deteriorated until a disease of the spine confined him to his room and finally rendered him incapable of painting. He died after accidentally taking a bottle of opium that had been wrongly labelled.Giovanni Martinelli
Italian Baroque Era Painter, 1610-1659Juan Sanchez Cotan
(June 25, 1560 - September 8, 1627) was a Spanish Baroque painter, a pioneer of realism in Spain. His still lifes, also called bodegones were painted in a strikingly austere style, especially when compared to similar works in Netherlands and Italy.
Senchez Coten was born in the town of Orgaz, near Toledo, Spain. He was a friend and perhaps pupil of Blas de Prado, an artist famous for his still lifes whose mannerist style with touches of realism, the disciple developed further. Cotan began by painting altar pieces and religious works. For approximately twenty years, he pursued a successful career in Toledo as an artist, patronized by the city's aristocracy, painting religious scenes, portraits and still lifes. These paintings found a receptive audience among the educated intellectuals of Toledo society. Senchez Cotan executed his notable still lifes around the turn of the seventeenth century, before the end of his secular life. An example (seen above) is Quince, Cabbage, Melon and Cucumber (1602, in the San Diego Museum of Art).
On August 10, 1603, Juan Sanchez Cotan, then in his forties, closed up his workshop at Toledo to renounce the world and enter the Carthusian monastery Santa Maria de El Paular. He continued his career painting religious works with singular mysticism. In 1612 he was sent to the Granada Charterhouse, he decided to become a monk, and in the following year he entered the Carthusian monastery at Granada as a laybrother. The reasons for this are not clear, though such action was not unusual in Cotan's day.