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 | View of the Hudson Looking Across the Tappan Zee-Towards Hook Mountain | Nassau Harbor | The Sunset at Monterey Bay the California Coast | Sunrise in the Sierras |
Related Artists:Charles Lock Eastlake
English Painter, 1793-1865
English painter, museum director, collector and writer. Fourth son of an Admiralty lawyer at Plymouth, he was educated at local grammar schools and then, briefly, at Charterhouse, Surrey. Determined to become a painter, he began work in 1809 as Benjamin Robert Haydon's first pupil and as a student at the Royal Academy Schools in London. In 1815 he exhibited for the first time at the British Institution, visited Paris and studied the pictures in the Musee Napoleon. He achieved his first conspicuous success with a scene from contemporary history that he had himself witnessed, Sultan Muhammad
Persian Painter, active ca.1505-1550
Persian illustrator. He was apparently a native of Tabriz and spent most of his life there. Contemporary sources suggest that he was at the height of his creative powers in the 1520s and 1530s when he was one of the leading painters in the employ of the Safavid shah Tahmasp. Sultan-Muhammad's documented paintings include contributions to a monumental copy (dispersed, ex-Houghton priv. col.) of Firdawsi's Shahnama ('Book of kings') made for Tahmasp between c. 1524 and c. 1529 and paintings from a copy (divided, New York, Met. and Cambridge, MA, Sackler Mus.) of Hafiz's Divan (collected poems), probably executed between 1531 and 1533. Sultan-Muhammad's paintings for these manuscripts demonstrate how the tradition of western Iranian painting as practised in Tabriz, Shiraz and other centres during the 15th century continued to be significant at the Safavid court .Beard, William Holbrook
American Painter, 1824-1900