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 :. | Alaskan Coastal Range | Albert Bierstadt Capri | Elk Grazing in the Wind River Country | Staubbach Falls, Near Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland | Wooded Landscape |
Related Artists:Vincenzo Catena
Vincenzo Catena Location
Italian painter. His paintings represent the perpetuation of the style of Giovanni Bellini into the second quarter of the 16th century. He made few concessions to the modern style that was being introduced to Venice by Titian, Palma Vecchio, Pordenone and others in the same period. This archaicizing tendency was shared by several minor Bellinesque painters of the period, including Pietro degli Ingannati, Pietro Duia, Francesco Bissolo, Vittore Belliniano and the Master of the Incredulity of St Thomas. Catena, together with Marco Basaiti, with whose works Catena are sometimes confused, can be considered the most accomplished of these. Despite the fact that he counted several humanists in his circle, the extant repertory of his subjects is limited to religious themes, mainly Marian and including three altarpieces, and to male portraits. The latter, as Vasari observed, include several of his finest works.William Michael Harnett
Harnett was born in Clonakilty, County Cork, Ireland during the time of the potato famine. Shortly after his birth his family emigrated to America, settling in Philadelphia. Becoming a United States citizen in 1868, he made a living as a young man by engraving designs on table silver, while also taking night classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and later, in New York, at Cooper Union and at the National Academy of Design. His first known oil painting, a still life, dates from 1874.
The style of trompe l'oeil painting that Harnett developed was distinctive and inspired many imitators, but it was not without precedent. A number of 17th century Dutch painters, Pieter Claesz. for instance, had specialized in tabletop still life of astonishing verisimilitude. Raphaelle Peale, working in Philadelphia in the early 19th century, pioneered the form in America. What sets Harnett's work apart, besides his enormous skill, is his interest in depicting objects not usually made the subject of a painting.
Harnett painted musical instruments, hanging game, and tankards, but also painted the unconventional Golden Horseshoe (1886), a single rusted horseshoe shown nailed to a board. He painted a casual jumble of second-hand books set on top of a crate, Job Lot, Cheap (1878), as well as firearms and even paper currency. His works sold well, but they were more likely to be found hanging in a tavern or a business office than in a museum, as they did not conform to contemporary notions of high art.
Harnett spent the years 1880?C1886 in Europe, staying in Munich from 1881 until early 1885. Harnett's best-known paintings, the four versions of After The Hunt, were painted between 1883 and 1885. Each is an imposing composition of hunting equipment and dead game, hanging on a door with ornate hinges at the right and keyhole plate at the left. These paintings, like the horseshoe or currency depictions mentioned earlier, are especially effective as trompe l'oeil because the objects occupy a shallow space, meaning that the illusion is not spoiled by parallax shift if the viewer moves.
Overall, Harnett's work is most comparable to that of the slightly younger John F. Peto. The two artists knew each other, and a comparison can be made between two paintings featuring violins. Harnett's Music and Good Luck from 1888 shows the violin hanging upright on a door with ornate hinges and with a slightly torn piece of sheet music behind it. The elements are arranged in a stable, deliberate manner. Peto's 1890 painting shows the violin hanging askew, as well as chipped and worn, with one string broken. The sheet music is dog-eared and torn around the edges, and placed haphazardly behind the instrument. The hinges are less ornate, and one is broken. Harnett's objects show signs of use but are well preserved, while Peto's more humble objects are nearly used up.
Crippling rheumatism plagued Harnett in his last years, reducing the number but not the quality of his paintings. He died in New York City in 1892. Other artists who painted similar compositions in Harnett's wake include his contemporary John Haberle and successors such as Otis Kaye and Jefferson David Chalfant.Andrea Appiani
Italian Neoclassical Painter, 1754-1817
was an Italian neoclassical painter. He was born at Milan. He had been intended to follow his father's career in medicine but instead entered the private academy of the painter Carlo Maria Giudici (1723?C1804). He received instruction in drawing, copying mainly from sculpture and prints. He then joined the class of the fresco painter Antonio de' Giorgi, which was held at the Ambrosiana picture gallery in Milan. He also frequented the studio of Martin Knoller, where he deepened his knowledge of painting in oils; and he studied anatomy at the Ospedale Maggiore in Milan with the sculptor Gaetano Monti. His interest in aesthetic issues was stimulated by the classical poet Giuseppe Parini, whom he drew in two fine pencil portraits. In 1776 he entered the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera to follow the painting courses of Giuliano Traballesi, from whom he received a mastery of the fresco technique. His best pieces are in the church of San Maria presso San Celso and the royal palace at Milan, almost rival those of his master. He was made pensioned artist to the Kingdom of Italy by Napoleon, but lost his allowance after the events of 1814 and fell into poverty. During his stint as court painter he rendered portraits of Napoleon and the chief personages of his regime.