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 :. | Departure of an Indian War Party | Conway Valley New Hampshire | Albert Bierstadt Call Of The Wild | Sunrise in the Sierras | Estes Park, Colorado |
Related Artists:John Frederichk Lewis RA
(1682 - May 25, 1755) was a Swedish born painter who emigrated to the New World in 1711. He was the father of painter John Hesselius and cousin of the religious leader Emanuel Swedenborg.
Hesselius left his home country of Sweden for Wilmington, Delaware in 1711. There he lived until 1717 when he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he lived until 1721. In 1721, he moved to Prince George's County, Maryland and became a portrait painter, though he had been trained in Sweden. That same year, he received the first recorded public art commission in the American colonies, he painted The Last Supper. He also painted a Crucifixion. Some time around 1735, Hesselius returned to Philadelphia where spent the rest of his life and traveling. He was listed as a member of the Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church in Philadelphia.
He also worked as an organ builder, having built an organ for the Moravian Church in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 1746. From about this time on, he focused on building organs, referring painting commissions to his son John.
J. Hall Pleasants has said that Hesselius became "America's earliest portrait painter of note." In 1994 he was named to the Prince George's County Hall of Fame.
LE BRUN, Charles
French painter (b. 1619, Paris, d. 1690, Paris)
French painter and designer. He dominated 17th-century French painting as no other artist; it was not until over a century later, during the predominance of Jacques-Louis David, that artistic authority was again so concentrated in one man. Under the protection of a succession of important political figures, including Chancellor Pierre S?guier, Cardinal Richelieu and Nicolas Fouquet, Le Brun created a series of masterpieces of history and religious painting. For Louis XIV and his chief minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert he executed his greatest work, the royal palace of Versailles: an almost perfect ensemble of architecture, decoration and landscape. After Colbert's death in 1683, he was no longer able to count on prestigious commissions