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 :. | White Mountains, New Hampshire | Rocca de Secca | Autumn Woods | Bahama Cove | The Wolf River, Kansas |
Related Artists:George Frederick
George Frederick Watts GalleriesParris, Edmund Thomas
English, 1793-1873William Aikman
William Aikman (24 October 1682 - 7 June 1731) was a Scottish portrait-painter.
Aikman was the son of William Aikman, of Cairney. His father intended that he should follow the law, and gave him an education suitable to these views; but the strong predilection of the son to the fine arts induced him to attach himself to painting alone. Poetry, painting, and music have, with justice, been called sister arts. Mr. Aikman was fond of poetry; and was particularly delighted with those unforced strains which, proceeding from the heart, are calculated to touch the congenial feelings of sympathetic minds. It was this propensity that attached him so warmly to Allan Ramsay, the Doric bard of Scotland. Though younger than Ramsay, Mr. Aikman, while at college, formed an intimate acquaintance with him, which constituted a principal part of his happiness at that time, and of which he always bore the tenderest recollection. It was the same delicate bias of mind which at a future period of his life attached him so warmly to Thomson, who then unknown, and unprotected, stood in need of, and obtained the warmest patronage of Aikman; who perhaps considered it as one of the most fortunate occurrences in his life that he had it in his power to introduce this young poet of nature to Sir Robert Walpole, who wished to be reckoned the patron of genius, and to Arbuthnot, Swift, Pope, Gay, and the other beaux esprits of that brilliant period. Thomson could never forget this kindness; and when he had the misfortune, too soon, to lose this warm friend and kind protector, he bewailed the loss in strains distinguished by justness of thought, and genuine pathos of expression.