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 :. | Lake in the Rockies | Sea and Sky | Rocky Mountains | By_a_Mountain_Lake | Sea and Sky |
Related Artists:DOU, Gerrit
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, 1613-1675
Dutch painter. The first and most famous member of the group of artists referred to as the LEIDEN 'FINE' PAINTERS, he specialized in small-format paintings, the details and surfaces of which are carefully observed and meticulously rendered. He was greatly praised as a painter of artificial light by Samuel van Hoogstraten in 1678, and he was responsible for popularizing both the night scene and the 'niche' format, pictorial devices ultimately derived from the art of his famous master, Rembrandt.
Francois Bonvin Location
Bonvin was born in humble circumstances in Paris, the son of a police officer and a seamstress. When he was four years old his mother died of tuberculosis and young Francois was left in the care of an old woman who underfed him. Soon his father married another seamstress and brought the child back into the household. Nine additional children were born, putting a strain on the familys resources, and to make matters worse his stepmother took to abusing and undernourishing Francois.
The young Bonvin started drawing at an early age. His potential was recognized by a friend of the family, who paid for him to attend a school for drawing instruction at age eleven. This instruction ended after two years, when his father apprenticed him to a printer, and Bonvin was to remain mostly self-taught as an artist. He spent his free time at the Louvre where he especially appreciated the Dutch old masters. Bonvin married a laundress at the age of twenty, at about the same time that he secured a job at the headquarters of the Paris police. It was during this period in his life that he also contracted an illness which would trouble him for the rest of his life.
Bonvin exhibited three paintings in the Salon of 1849, where he was awarded a third-class medal. He exhibited in the Salon of 1850 with Courbet, and won recognition as a leading realist, painting truthfully the lives of the poor which he knew at first hand. His paintings were well received by critics and by the public. Although his work had elements in common with Courbets, his modestly scaled paintings were not seen as revolutionary. He was awarded the Legion d honneur in 1870.
His subjects were still life and the everyday activities of common people, painted in a style that is reminiscent of Pieter de Hooch and Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin. It is the latter who is especially recalled by Bonvins delicate luminosity.
In 1881 he underwent an operation which did not restore him to health, and he became blind. A retrospective exhibition of his work was held in 1886. He died at Saint-Germain-en-Laye in 1887. LONGHI, Pietro
Italian Rococo Era Painter, ca.1702-1785
Painter and draughtsman. His father, Alessandro Falca, encouraged his natural talent for drawing, and he studied under Antonio Balestra for 'several years', according to his son, Alessandro Longhi. Balestra probably took Pietro to Bologna and recommended him to Giuseppe Maria Crespi. No documents exist on Longhi until 1732, the year he married, and some doubt has been expressed about his study with Crespi. There is no trace of Crespi's influence in Longhi's altarpiece for the parish church of S Pellegrino in Bologna, St Pellegrino Condemned to Death, installed in 1732; Crespi's style is an intimate one, however, and would have been inappropriate for such a large altarpiece. One of Longhi's first independent works, the St Pellegrino altarpiece recalls his Venetian origins and training in its broken brushwork and colour glazes. In another early work, the Adoration of the Magi (Venice, Scuola Grande S Giovanni Evangelista), documented in 1733 as at S Maria Materdomini, Venice, the subject-matter lends itself to a more domestic treatment, and Crespi's influence is evident. Both these works contain passages anticipating Longhi's subsequent development as a genre painter; in each picture a boy or young man, perhaps a self-portrait, gazes out at the spectator, unconcerned with events in the painting.