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 :. | Sierra Nevadas | By_a_Mountain_Lake | Splendour of the Grand Tetons | Moat Mountain Intervale New Hampshire | Bavarian_Landscape |
Related Artists:Levitan, Isaak
Russian Painter, 1860-1900
Russian painter of Lithuanian birth. He largely painted landscapes (including pastel sketches), which are noted for their emotive or symbolic resonance. His 'landscapes of mood' had a profound influence on Russian landscape painting, to which he introduced a sense of the unity of humankind and nature, and of the spiritual power of the Russian simon luttichuys
Joseph Siffred Duplessis
French Painter, 1725-1802
was a French painter, known for the clarity and immediacy of his portraits. He was born into a family with an artistic bent and received his first training from his father, a surgeon and talented amateur, then with Joseph-Gabriel Imbert (1666?C1749), who had been a pupil of Charles Le Brun. From 1744-47 or later he worked in Rome, in the atelier of Pierre Subleyras, who was also from the south of France, who died in 1749. In Italy Duplessis became fast friends with Joseph Vernet, another Occitan. He returned to Carpentras, spent a brief time in Lyon then arrived about 1752 in Paris, where he was accepted into the Academie de Saint-Luc and exhibited some portraits, which were now his specialty, in 1764, but did not achieve much notice until his exhibition of ten paintings at the Paris salon of 1769, very well received and selected for special notice by Denis Diderot; the Academie de peinture et de sculpture accepted him in the category of portraitist, considered a lesser category at the time. He continued to exhibit at the Paris salons, both finished paintings and sketches, until 1791, and once more, in 1801. His portrait of the Dauphine in 1771 and his appointment as a peintre du Roi assured his success: most of his surviving portraits date from the 1770s and 1780s. He received privileged lodgings in the Galeries du Louvre. In the Revolution, he withdrew to safe obscurity at Carpentras during the Reign of terror. Afterwards, from 1796, he served as curator at the newly-founded museum formed at Versaillles, so recently emptied of its furnishings at the Revolutionary sales. His uncompromising self-portrait at this time of his life is at Versailles. His adjusted his style to the social condition of his sitter: his portrait of Charles-Claude, comte d'Angiviller, director of the Batiments du Roi, is as distant and conventional as his state portrait of Louis XVI in coronation robes (1776), while his realistic and intimate portrait of the opera composer Christoph Willibald Gluck (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna) catches the composer at the keyboard in a moment of inspiration and his penetrating portrait of the sculptor Christophe Gabriel Allegrain (Louvre Museum, illustration) shows him having just laid down his chisel: this was the morceau de reception that gained him admittance to the Academie. Duplessis' Benjamin Franklin on the U.S. hundred dollar billHis portrait of Benjamin Franklin (1778),